- Orders security agencies to ‘crush’ oil thieves
President Bola Tinubu, on Thursday, in Abuja, began what analysts have described as a reset of Nigeria’s economy with moves to tackle critical factors inhibiting growth in the country.
The President directed Service Chiefs and heads of security and intelligence agencies to “crush” perpetrators of oil theft, saying that his administration would not tolerate the menace.
Tinubu also said on his watch, insecurity would not bring Nigeria to her knees while other countries record achievements in key sectors of their economies.
The President gave the directive in his maiden official meeting with Service Chiefs and intelligence heads, led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.
The National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd), who addressed journalists after the meeting, revealed that the President had directed heads of security agencies to provide a purpose-made blueprint to tackle insecurity and maintain sanity nationwide.
In the two-hour meeting, Monguno said the security helmsmen briefed Tinubu on the activities of their various security formations and also got directives from him as regards his expectations.
He said, “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.
“Having been briefed by the participants of the meeting, Mr. President addressed prevailing issues confronting the nation in terms of insecurity and also mentioned his own philosophy towards dealing with national security issues.”
He said the President appreciated the armed forces and intelligence agencies and the wider paramilitary agencies for the work they had been doing in the past couple of years.
“Their sacrifice, their loyalty, and he also paid tribute to those who died defending this country, from the great menace of terrorism, insurgency banditry, oil theft, sea robbery and piracy.
“The President has made it very clear that he’s determined to build on whatever gains that have been made and to reverse misfortunes and turn the tide in our favour.
“As far as he’s concerned, this country should not be on its knees struggling while other countries are working and achieving greater heights,” Monguno explained.
However, the President demanded redoubled efforts from the security agencies, stressing that his own philosophy was one of the contemporary security measures dealing with the requirements of the time.
“He has made it very clear that he will not accept a situation in which our fortunes keep declining, and his own trajectory is that national security has to be coordinated, there has to be whatever… whether it is a basket system, but there must be a clearing house.
“All agencies must work to achieve one single purpose. Working at cross purposes and colliding with each other is not something that he will condone. He has made it very, very clear that all the security agencies must comply with the demands of coordination, with the demands of frequent consultations and also timely reports which must be acted on.
“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,” the NSA said.
Monguno said the President had mandated the security agencies to provide a blueprint for the country as “he doesn’t have the luxury of time.”
“The President also has decided that whatever ventures the Armed Forces are going to be engaged in, they must carry along those operatives in the theatre.
“They must be well fed, well kitted, motivated and given all that they require.
“The President has said clearly that he will do whatever is within his powers to enable the operational elements but the intelligence agencies must also make their work easy for them by providing the type of intelligence that they require carrying out the assignment,” he said.