Tinubu talks tough, gives directive to security chiefs during meeting

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On Thursday, President Bola Tinubu issued a directive in Abuja, calling on the Service Chiefs and heads of security and intelligence agencies to take strong action against those involved in oil theft. He made it clear that his administration will not tolerate this harmful activity.

Tinubu has pledged that Nigeria will not succumb to insecurity under his leadership, even as other countries thrive in key sectors of their economies.

Bola Tinubu with Security Chiefs

In his first official meeting with the Service Chiefs and intelligence heads, led by Chief of Defence Staff General Lucky Irabor, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the President gave a directive. Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), the National Security Adviser, spoke to journalists after the meeting and shared that the President has requested the security agency heads to create a comprehensive plan to tackle insecurity and promote stability throughout the country.

During the two-hour meeting, Monguno explained that the security leaders briefed Tinubu on the activities of their respective agencies, and the President shared his expectations with them. He stated, “The President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces has just concluded a meeting of the general security appraisal committee consisting of the Chief of Staff, service chiefs, Inspector General of Police, and heads of the intelligence agencies. This is the very first meeting he’s had with the heads of the security agencies. The meeting lasted for two hours.”

Monguno further conveyed that the President expressed his appreciation for the armed forces, intelligence agencies, and the broader paramilitary organizations for their dedicated work in the past few years. Tinubu acknowledged their sacrifices, and loyalty and paid tribute to those who lost their lives while defending the country against various threats such as terrorism, insurgency, banditry, oil theft, sea robbery, piracy, and more.

The President made it unequivocally clear that he is determined to build upon the progress achieved and reverse any misfortunes to turn the tide in favour of Nigeria. He firmly believes that the country should not be struggling while other nations are prospering and attaining greater heights. Monguno elaborated, “As far as he’s concerned, this country should not be on its knees struggling while other countries are working and achieving greater heights.”

However, the President demanded intensified efforts from the security agencies, emphasizing that his approach aligns with contemporary security measures tailored to meet the current requirements. He categorically stated that he will not accept a continued decline in the nation’s fortunes. Tinubu emphasized the necessity for coordinated national security efforts, whether through a basket system or any other means, but emphasized the importance of a clearing house where all agencies work towards a common goal. He explicitly stated that working at cross purposes and conflicting with one another is unacceptable. The President stressed the need for coordination, frequent consultations, and timely actionable reports from all security agencies.

Tinubu expressed his intent to initiate significant reforms in the security architecture and closely examine challenges in the maritime domain, particularly focusing on the issue of oil theft, which he adamantly refuses to tolerate. The President has instructed that this problem be crushed promptly, regardless of its source. The National Security Adviser added, “He is going to embark on a lot of reforms in terms of our security architecture, he is going to take a closer look at our misfortunes in the maritime domain, focusing particularly on the issues of oil theft, that as far as he is concerned, he is not going to tolerate oil theft. Wherever the problem is coming from, it must be crushed as soon as possible.”

Furthermore, Monguno stated that the President has urged the security agencies to swiftly provide a comprehensive blueprint for the country, as time is of the essence. Tinubu also emphasized that the armed forces must involve and cater to the welfare of the operatives in the theatre of operations. They should be well-fed, well-equipped, motivated, and provided with all the necessary resources. The President affirmed his commitment to do everything within his power to support the operational elements. At the same time, he emphasized the importance of intelligence agencies facilitating their work by providing the required information for the successful execution of their assignments.

In conclusion, the National Security Adviser reiterated the President’s firm stance on combating insecurity and maintaining national stability. He highlighted the President’s resolve to eradicate oil theft, urging the security agencies to work together to develop an effective plan to address the issue promptly. The President’s directive emphasized the need for coordination, timely reporting, and reforms in the security architecture to ensure that Nigeria does not lag behind while other nations progress.

With these directives from President Tinubu, it is expected that the security agencies and intelligence heads will embark on comprehensive measures to combat oil theft, enhance coordination, and improve the overall security situation in the country. The nation eagerly awaits the implementation of these initiatives to achieve a safer and more prosperous Nigeria.

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