Security Matters: Monguno Accuses Abba Kyari Of Meddlesomeness
Monguno and Kyari

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd), has accused the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari of overstepping his bounds by meddling in security matters.

In a letter titled “Disruption Of The National Security Framework By Unwarranted Meddlesome,” the NSA expressed displeasure at the wanton disregard for constituted authority by Kyari, whom he accused of going above his powers to issues directives to security chief on matters he should not be involved in.

The letter dated December 9, 2019, reminded the President’s Chief of Staff and the security chiefs that Kyari’s “job as it relates to security stops at conveying Mr. President’s written directives.”

Monguno stressed that Kyari lacked the powers to preside over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organisations as well as ambassadors and high commissioners to the exclusion of the NSA and/or supervising ministers, describing such as “unprofessional practices” that “violate the Constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr. President.”

Below is the full text of the letter

DISRUPTION OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY FRAMEWORK BY UNWARRANTED MEDDLESOMENESS
References:
A. SH/COS/46/2/1429 dated 13 September 2019
B. SH/COS/26/5/A/2609 dated 26 November 2019
References A and B were sent in response to the request for presidential intervention to sustain internal security operations of the police within the shortest possible time. However the contents of the 2 references were in variance with Mr. President’s verbal directives.

Consequently, ONSA scrutinized the documents further and sought clarification from Mr. President who has directed that Reference B be disregarded by all parties as it was sent without his endorsement.

2. While it is expected that all heads of security agencies, having spent many years in service would understand means of passing directives from the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, it may be necessary to remind all, in the face of glaring breaches to that procedure.

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For clarification, other than direct verbal directives from the President, written directives emanating from Mr. President would be conveyed with a copy of his manuscript directive or at minimum, bear his signature.

Additionally, Mr. President may convey directives to the heads of defence and security apparatus through the NSA who chairs the Intelligence Community Committee, Joint Intelligence Board and General Security Appraisal Committee on behalf of the President and the supervising ministers of defence and security agencies.

It should be noted that the Chief of Staff to the President does not direct security apparatus of the Federal Republic of Nigeria — his job as it relates to security stops at conveying Mr. President’s written directives.

3. Similarly, you are reminded that the Chief of Staff to the President is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country.

As such, unprofessional practices such as presiding over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organisations as well as ambassadors and high commissioners to the exclusion of the NSA and/or supervising ministers are a violation of the Constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr. President.

Such acts and continuous meddlesomeness by the Chief of Staff have not only ruptured our security and defence efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr. President has sought to achieve.

4. As professionals, you are aware that the security of the Federal Republic of Nigeria requires concerted and centralized effort taking into account internal, external and diplomatic factors.
It is therefore detrimental to our collective security that the Chief of Staff who is a non-supervising minister holds meetings with diplomats, security chiefs and heads of agencies.

5. Pursuant to the foregoing, you are by this letter directed to desist from these illegal acts that serve nothing but the continuous undermining of our national security framework. Any breach of this directive will attract displeasure of Mr. President.

Babagana Monguno
Major-General (rtd)
National Security Adviser
December 9, 2019