Monguno’s critics and the futility of mischief




It is without doubt, that the fight against insecurity has intensified and insurgents, kidnappers, bandits and cattle rustlers can attest to increased intelligence and spy power coordinated by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Mongonu (rtd), in recent times. They are now scampering in all directions. Some have even been intercepted in Southern states, all because there is no longer hiding place for them. 

As it were, this renewed vigour will anger their apologists and enemies of Nigeria who wish that the status quo be maintained so that Nigeria will remain in perpetual chaos. To vent their frustration, they have infiltrated the country’s media space where they engage hired writers who spill out lies, misinformation and deceit to whip up public sentiment against the government. 

Recently, two of their mercenary writers published ill-fated articles, all targeted at NSA Monguno. Conversely, the aim of the articles was to discredit and distract the NSA from the deft professional job he is doing that is restoring hope in our lives. 

In one of their badly written articles, they alluded to the fact that the NSA is quick to blame and accuse the security chiefs and it amounts to absolving himself from the terrible general insecurity situation in the country. Their desperation or those of their paymasters betrayed them. If not, how come they are ignorant of the fact that while the core role of the NSA, is at strategic level, intelligent gathering, the service chiefs are the ones responsible for actions taken at the war front? What do these empty brains expect? 

It is an open secret that the NSA is a spy czar of international repute, an astute soldier, whose pedigree is not in doubt. If he has done his best and plans are not properly executed, should he blame himself or those responsible for execution? 

Good enough, the critics agreed that timely information is of the essence to the war against insurgency. That is exactly what the NSA is saying. “We have done enough to gather intelligence. However, success depends on how well the informations are deployed.” For instance, it is the duty of the teacher to teach; however, it is the duty of the pupil or student to follow the teacher’s prescription.

How well a patient becomes depends on the diligence with which he followed the prescription of the doctor. NSA is throwing everything to the works to ensure the war against insurgency and other forms of security concerns is won. 

In his surreptitious attempt to drive home the mischief of their lamed paymasters, one of the arm chair critics strayed in error by suggesting that security agencies, especially the service chiefs should not be blamed for the failure to properly interpret the intelligence information provided by the NSA’s Office?

Certainly, in the ill-fated write up, he depicted he was acting the script of the enemies of Nigeria by suggesting the sack of the NSA. Agreed that the situation we found ourselves did not start today, and that it is accumulation of years of decay and lack of political will, as alluded in the write up. But it will be foolhardy to continue to blame the past. The buck stops on the table of those saddled with the responsibility of maintaining security today and not yesterday. 

As if this is the season of mischief, one of the sponsored ‘opinionist’ bought into the charade and grandstanding of the enemies of Nigeria when purportedly claimed the NSA was dragging the service chiefs behind. In this mischievous write up apparently sponsored by disgruntled elements who don’t mean we’ll for Nigeria, they again tried frantically to justify why the NSA should not insist on synergy of stakeholders in solving the security issues. 

Mongonu’s call for a coordinated security approach is not out of place. If every stakeholder is allowed to do their own things without recourse to the federal government, with higher intelligence, it will compound the already tensed situation. That was the NSA’s point when he visited the Governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Tambuwal. Despite the purity of his intention in calling for synergy, detractors went ahead to criticise him. 

For the benefit of doubt, this is what the NSA said that mischief makers are twisting and turning. He said, “Finally, it’s about the issue of lack of synergy within the security sector. This has to be addressed also and has left us in no doubt that unless we address this issue and form a single front, the convergence of efforts, the confluence of all ideas, be they operational or intelligence, must be achieved so that if at all there was this notion that groups were working in silos or stockpiling, they desist from that with immediate effect. We must have a central platform to coordinate all the efforts, all operations and security.”

It will be arrant nonsense to assume that a retired Major General, an old boy of Kings College, Lagos, who is experienced in military intelligence, though an engineer by training, is bereft of strategies on how to overcome the security challenges of Nigeria. The principal objective of his traducers is to distract him, hence plunge Nigeria into further crisis. 

The NSA further explained to the media in another interaction in Hausa that the service chiefs are expected to streamline their efforts through a central authority and not be seen running to the president individually. Now, what is wrong with calling for streamlined operations? 

The armed forces, made up of the army, air force and navy, have in collaboration with the police, the DSS, NSCDC and other agencies worked together very well in fighting criminality, banditry, insurgency and other security threats in the country. But the point the NSA is advancing is that such collaboration must be strengthened if it must yield positive results. 

Agreed that outfits such as Operations Crocodile Smiles, Sharan Daji, Harbin Kunama, Ayen Akpatuma, Whirl Stroke, Safe Haven and others, which were established along the line are all joint efforts of the various security agencies which have produced enormous results, but they must be strengthened and taken to another level. 

It is important to reiterate that the NSA is the number one intelligence officer in Nigeria, and as such must serve as the central coordinating point for all security activities. Rightly so, if he has observed lack of synergy amongst security agencies, it is the duty of his office to point it out. 

 Ibrahim is director of communication and strategic planning of the Presidential Support Committee (PSC).

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