The National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Major General Babagana Monguno, has said the nation is currently “in a very difficult situation” which requires the cooperation of all stakeholders.
He said this while briefing State House reporters on the outcome of the National Security Council (NSC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
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The NSA, who was joined by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali, said the NSC was working on new strategies to tackle the worrisome insecurity in the country.
Monguno said the President was aware of the people’s concerns about the growing insecurity, adding that Nigerians were tired and gravitating towards self-help.
He gave an assurance that there would be a renewed momentum against terrorism.
Monguno said council was in the process of winding up special investigation on Kuje Correctional Center attack in order to hold those found negligent accountable for their actions.
He urged the political elite to always take into account the consequences of their utterances which might have wider society.
Monguno said: “Today’s meeting was convened by the President, as a continuation of the meeting that took place last week to discuss the technical issues and the tasks that were given to the various security agencies. The meeting deliberated on all those issues, after the brief by the National Security Adviser, which is usually the procedure. Again, council deemed it necessary to inform the general public, that fighting this type of asymmetric conflict is a collective effort. It’s not something that should be confined to only the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
“When we keep saying whole of society approach, whole of government approach, to get a whole of nation approach, what it means is that everybody has to partake in this enterprise. The truth is that no country can ever overcome the difficulties of an asymmetric conflict by virtue of the fact that the enemy of the state is embedded within the population within the wider society. It is true that the local people are averse, they’re scared, they’re worried and there’s no confidence. That is understandable. But without their support without the cooperation in terms of giving information, it makes it very hard for the operational elements.
“A few days ago, troops of the guards brigade were ambushed and decimated. Had there been a collective effort by way of just snippets of information we might have averted that incident, that is not to say that the responsibility is for those outside the security domain. It’s a collective responsibility. Council is also concerned about the nature of media reporting incidents with regards to insecurity. It is important for the media to understand that certain reports being generated by the media, either the way the manner in which they report can also aggravate this delicate situation.
“We are in a very difficult situation. And Council understands. Mr. President understands people’s concerns about the growing insecurity. But I can assure you that there’s no straight cut and dried method of dealing with this thing unless all of us embrace each other. I know people are wary, people are tired people are beginning to gravitate to other places for self-help. The truth is that help is rooted in everyone working for the other person.
“Again, the members of the armed forces have also made a commitment that in the coming weeks, they have already started working on a new strategy to deal with these snippets of violence. And they’ve given their word, their commitment to the President, that there will be a change in momentum, regardless of the fact that there might be certain institutional limitations which they face. But they understood the enormity of the responsibilities that they have.
“Again, Council is in the process of winding up the special investigative panel on the Kuje incident. And the idea is to come up with recommendations, hold those who are supposed to be held accountable for their deeds and to ensure that this type of thing never ever, ever happens again in this country.
So, that, in a nutshell, was what Council deliberated on.”
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