*condenns killings of over 8 soldiers in Bwari, near Abuja
*says terrorists succeeding due to intelligence failure
*seeks reorganisation of security entire architecture
*says party stands no chance in 2023 unless worsening insecurity is immediately tackled
By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
As reactions continue to trail last Sunday’s terrorists attack on troops of Presidential Guards Brigade in Bwari, Abuja, killing over eight soldiers, support group of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has demanded the immediate sack of the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd.)
The APC support group, operating under the body, APC Justice and Unity Forum (APC JUF), also tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately rejig the entire security architecture to pave way for fresh hands and ideas on handling the nation’s worsening insecurity.
The forum, in a statement on Wednesday, signed by its National President, Dr Muhammadu Kabiru, said it was not only shameful and disgraceful, but also embarrassing that the terrorists could have their way in launching deadly attacks on troops of the elite Presidential Guards Brigade right in the nation’s federal capital city, few hours after boasting that it would soon abduct President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State.
It also drew attention to the continuous holding of passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna bound train without government’s visible efforts at securing the release of the hostages almost four months after the incident, blaming the NSA for this.
According to the group, the abysmal failure of the NSA to take measures towards the rescue of the hostages over months, showed he is not in control of the nation’s security affairs.
Kabiru explained in the statement that his group’s position was the fallout of meeting it held in Abuja, earlier to review the state of the nation, especially as it relates to security of lives and property in the country at the moment.
“Given the antecedents of the terrorists which we as laymen in the security circle have already known, those saddled with securing this could would have known better that the terrorists meant business and would have strengthened intelligence to prevent what happened.
“This bold and daring activities of the terrorists in Abuja and other areas across the country without prior knowledge of our security services has shown that our intelligence failure is at its lowest ebb and given this situation, we think the best thing for the president to do at this moment is to relieve the NSA of his position and try another security expert with fresh ideas,” the group said.
The group which urged the president to consider another person for the Office of the NSA on merit, commitment and track record and not on ethnic or religious backgrounds, noted that the country had deteriorated in its security management under Monguno.
To avert further collapse, the forum, therefore, urged President Buhari to dismiss Monguno and appoint someone with the needed capacity, competence and courage to put the nation’s security architecture on the right path.
It reminded President Buhari that his pledge to tackle insecurity was part of the reasons Nigerians voted for him and it is a travesty that a mere appointee of his has made him look this bad before the nation.
“At a time when the country most needed competence, Monguno has proven to be lacking understanding of the current issues facing the country and his inability to galvanize and coordinate strategy actions that will see to the end of the banditry is one that should now be a source of worry for Nigerians.
“It is on the strength of the foregoing that our forum,APCJUF hereby demands that something must give way and that is that President Muhammadu Buhari immediately sacks Babagana Monguno as the National Security Adviser (NSA) to enable those with the needed capacity, competence and courage occupy the position to, without any further delay, put the nation’s security architecture on the right path,”the statement read.
On the other hand,the APC Justice and Unity Forum observed that given the level at which terrorists had gone in their activities against the Nigerian state unhindered,it was time to equally rejig the entire security architecture of the country.
“Without mincing words,we also demand that the president rejigs the entire security architecture. The Service Chiefs should be replaced to give room for fresh hands and ideas because we have seen that the present crop of service chiefs are losing the battle against the terrorists. How else do we describe a situation where our troops only depend on counter attacks or self-defence from terrorists attacks? It said.
The statement read in part:”The above named organisation, a leading support group which played a very critical role in bringing the government of President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC to power met today in Abuja to review the state of the nation, especially as it relates to security of life and properties.
“As part of the structure that brought this current government to power and still working tirelessly to deliver the presidential candidate of our great party, Senator Ahmed Tinubu, we have no other choice than to speak up devoid of political consideration.
“Having reviewed all the happenings around the country, we have come to conclusion that there’s a failure of intelligence at all levels with bulk stoping at office of the National Security Adviser, who have failed woefully in carrying out his job. To this end,we demand that he should be sacked immediately to save the country of continuous embarrassment.This will allow fresh hands to continue from where he failed,”it said.
The group which said,”We cannot continue like this”, regretted that “in a country of about 200 million people, some rag-tag miscreants called bandits and Boko Haram are holding our country to ransom as if we don’t have an armed forces again.”
“Where is our NSA who is supposed to direct all the intelligence departments in all the services? Why is he failing in his duty or is there something he has not told us?” The group asked.
According to the APCJUF, “Nigerians voted for us because we promised to cater for their welfare and security but as it stands today, the country is worst in terms of security than we took over in 2015.
“This is not the change we promised Nigerians in 2015. Something must be done drastically before it’s too late.
“We insist that our Armed Forces can defeat these criminal elements if we have the proper commitments, strategies and equipments.
“The deaths of the soldiers of Guards Brigade in Abuja is one too many and something must be done immediately to stop further occurrences. We condemn the killing of our gallant men. The time to act is now, otherwise,we will lose the 2023 general elections.
” We are in an election year and something must be done fast before it is too late.
“It is on this note that we demand the immediate sack of the National Security Adviser and every security head in the country for fresh ideas to thrive”, the statement further read.