From Victor Osula, Abuja
The National Security Council (NSC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, is expected to continue today (Wednesday).
Wednesday’s meeting, which is expected to be a continuation last Friday’s meeting would deliberate on the way out of the current lawlessness and brigandage in the country
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, dropped the hint at the Senate plenary on Tuesday.
Lawan had explained the absence of the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, and the service chiefs, who had been invited by the Senate to provide clarifications on certain matters to the Senate.
Lawan had said at the commencement of plenary that the military top brass could not honour the upper legislative chamber’s invitation due to the National Security Council meeting they are attending on Tuesday which may not end until Wednesday.
“Today, the National Security Council is continuing its meeting that it started last week. Therefore the invited security heads will not be able to come for the briefing.
“We are not sure if they will finish their meeting today (Tuesday). We assume it could spill to Wednesday too”, he was reported to have explained.
The National Security Council meeting was convened by President Buhari on the heels of escalating insecurity in different parts of the country and general outcry by various stakeholders, many calling for an urgent action from the President.
Among those who attended the meeting were the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN); the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari; and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno.
Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Defense, Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd.); Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; and Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, were also at the meeting.
Others were the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Ishiaka Oladayo Amoo.
The acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba; Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; and Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major-General Samuel Adebayo, were also in attendance.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd.), had informed State House Correspondents after the meeting was adjourned last Friday that President Buhari had expressed his resolve to do whatever it would take to restore peace and security to the country.
According to Monguno, President Buhari convened the crucial meeting because of his concerns for the persistent and escalating violent and bloody activities of terrorists, bandits and other shades of criminals, assuring Nigerians that the country will overcome the current myriad of crises.
He had informed then that the meeting would reconvene on Tuesday to continue with briefing of the President by the service chiefs and other security and intelligence chiefs.
“Concerned about the persisting security challenges in parts of the country, Mr. President summoned a crucial meeting of the National Security Council today as he continues to frontally confront the situation in the country.
“At today’s meeting the President made it abundantly clear that while the insurgents, bandits and criminals are still at it, he has no doubt that the Nigerian security agencies and all of us as a nation will certainly overcome all the current security problems and defeat the forces of evil marauding about in different parts of the country.
“While the criminals continue to test the will of the Nigerian government, the President and the Council, which adjourned today’s critical meeting until Tuesday morning, to receive further briefings from the Security Chiefs, are set and determined to decisively end the assault on the nation and will do all that it takes.
“Mr. President is very prepared to take profound measures in the wider interest of the people and the Nigerian nation. There shall be no relenting until peace and security is significantly restored in our communities”, he said.