Attack on NDA: Northern elders demand review of security architecture

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Northern elders have attributed Tuesday’s morning attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna, by bandits leaving two military officers dead and an officer abducted, to failure of Nigeria’s intelligence network.

Recall that the Nigerian Army had earlier confirmed the killing of two of its officers and abduction of a senior officer at the NDA in Afaka, Kaduna State.

Witnesses said the bandits came in a large number in the early hours of Tuesday, adding that apart from theofficers killed and kidnapped, some others sustained gunshot injuries and are currently receiving treatment at the NDA hospital.
The group, under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CNEPD), in the statementby its national coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni, while blaming President Muhammadu Buhari for leaving the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Babagana Monguno (retd) behind at the time he replaced service chiefs, however, expressed unflinching support to the president and his party,the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)

The organisation, which said the development was an indication that no Nigerian no matter his or her status was safe in the country, therefore, demanded immediate sack of Monguno.

The statement reads: “We find it once more expedient to comment on the worsening security situation in the country, especially the latest attack on a military formation,the Nigerian Defence Academy,which is the  institution where future military leaders are trained. We woke up to the sad news of the attack on the NDA, leaving two officers killed and another abducted by bandits with heavy hearts. If it was not the confirmation of this unbelievable action by the Academy’s spokesperson, Bashir Jajira, we would have still been in doubt.
“The fact that a fortified military institution could be so easily invaded by armed militias without resistance has left us with the conclusion that no part of this country and no citizen,no matter his or status is safe again. Without mincing words,we wish to attribute this ugly development to intelligence failure and gaps in the capacity of our armed forces. We wish to strongly say here that the attack is a slap on the Nigeria intelligence community and the armed forces.
“The retention of the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno,at the time the president listened to the voice of reason and replaced service chiefs, may be contributing to the continuous deteriorating security situation in the country.”
They added: “Given the situation, we wish to humbly and respectively appeal to our dear President, Muhammadu Buhari,to as a matter of urgent national importance, replace the NSA, whose tenure since his assumption of office,has been characterised by heightened Boko Haram activities, banditry,kidnap for ransom and other heinous crimes without end in sight.
“We reinstate unequivocally that Monguno has failed to provide useful advice to address the scourging insecurity in the country and therefore,does not deserve continuous stay in office. As Northern elders, we have found it very important to call on President Buhari to remove the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd), whose office and responsibilities are critical to the achievement of comprehensive security all over the country but hasn’t used the high esteem of his office in any productive ways since his appointment as NSA.
‘The reason for this call is not farfetched. We believe that Major-Gen Monguno was part of the gross failure associated with the tenure of the former security chiefs and his continued presence in office will make the success Buhari intended to achieve with the changes very difficult, if not completely impossible. It is important that the NSA be replaced and the security architecture of the nation reviewed so that the process of injecting fresh blood can be completed.
‘We believe that the service chiefs need a clean slate to succeed as to avoid being tied to the springs of the past fatal failures. This call is both patriotic and totally apolitical as expected from a responsible group of elders in our dear region. It would be to the highest interests of Nigeria for the president to heed this call and act on it immediately.”

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