Buhari to tinker with Nigerian military structure after criticism

buhari
buhari

What you need to know:

  • Buhari had been silent following criticism that the military and police had been overwhelmed.
  • The security forces have been accused of being unable to deal with banditry, kidnapping, communal violence, herdsmen’s menace and Boko Haram terrorists.

Abuja

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has signalled changes to the leadership of military organs, yielding to pressure that followed a series of gun attacks on civilians.

Buhari had been silent following criticism that the military and police had been overwhelmed by banditry, kidnapping, communal violence, herdsmen’s menace and Boko Haram terrorists.

But on Tuesday, Buhari ordered security service chiefs to adjust their operational structures to tackle what he said was deteriorating insecurity.

He met with the security bosses in Abuja where he railed them for their inability to safeguard lives and property. But he pleaded with Nigerians to be patient and await the outcome of the re-engineering.

Presidential order confirmed

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen (Rtd) Babagana Monguno confirmed the presidential order.

“I’m more concerned about the promise we made to the larger Nigerian society and I am ordering an immediate re-engineering of the entire security apparatus.

“This is something that I believe will be done in a very short time, but I just want us to keep hope alive,” he said.

The president ordered the service chiefs and heads of security agencies to overhaul their security plans.

The Nigerian military has lately been accused of being corrupt and having a lackadaisical attitude in response to insecurity, with some critics calling for the replacement of service chiefs.

Frustrations

The 36 state governors earlier met with Buhari at the Villa and expressed frustrations over the security situation.

The situation peaked on July 30 when Borno Governor Babagana Zulum accused the military in Baga town, where his convoy was attacked, of sabotage in the fight against insurgency in the northeast. 

The governor, who was attacked at Monguno on his way to the volatile town of Baga on an assessment visit, had to be whisked away into the Federal Anti- Robbery Squad ( FSARS) armoured carrier vehicles and sneaked out of the town.

“As far as I am concerned, what happened in Baga is complete sabotage by the military. There is no Boko Haram in Baga,” Prof Zulum said. 

Reinforcing the position of Zullum, governors of the 36 states of the federation called for a meeting with Buhari to discuss the worsening insecurity in virtually all the states.