Naija News recalls that President Buhari held a meeting with the Service Chiefs on Monday, days after the Office of the NSA in a circular accused Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President of hijacking a role legally assigned to Monguno. The Chief of Staff was also accused of completely sidelining Monguno in the scheme of things when it comes to the strategic decisions in national security operations.
Days after the memo leaked, President Buhari held a meeting with Service Chiefs with NSA Monguno noticeably absent, a situation which caused some Nigerians on social media to raise eyebrows over the absence of the NSA at the meeting with Security Chiefs, claiming that it could have been as a result of the memo leaked from the Presidency.
However, the reverse is the case as a source who is familiar with the happenings in the Presidency, said the NSA Monguno did not attend the meeting because he was out of the country at the time of the meeting, adding that the movement of the NSA has never been put in the public domain. The NSA attended the Munich Security Conference in Germany, on behalf of President Buhari.
“This is an intelligence matter, no one issues a statement stating that the NSA and other Service Chiefs are travelling, and that is so for security reasons,” the source said.
The source explained that the movement of the NSA is not subject to public exposure, saying: “The truth is that on Monday the President approved the constitution of a National Humanitarian Coordination Committee (NHCC) and he appointed the NSA as co-Chairman.
“The NSA and the President have a smooth working relationship and the same can be said of his relationship with the Chief of Staff. I think Nigerians need to learn more about the sensitivity of the role of the NSA,” the source said.
Naija News recalls that a letter by NSA Monguno to the Chief of Staff was leaked to the media by unknown persons, in the letter, Monguno said Kyari’s directives to service chiefs were sometimes issued without the knowledge, much less approval of the president, a practice he said has added to government’s failure to contain insecurity.
“Chief of staff to the president is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country,” Mr Monguno, a retired major-general, said in the December 9, 2019, letter.
“As such, unprofessional practices such as presiding over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organisations as well as ambassadors and high commissioners to the exclusion of the NSA and/or supervising ministers are a violation of the Constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr President.
“Such acts and continued meddlesomeness by the chief of staff have not only ruptured our security an defence efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr President has sought to achieve.”