President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday held what was called a ‘special consultation’ with the service chiefs behind closed-doors but Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.) was absent.
The meeting was attended by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. – Gen Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar; and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, also attended the meeting.
Daily Trust learnt that Monguno did not attend the meeting because he had travelled out of the country to represent President Buhari at Munich Security Summit.
The NSA, who is expected to return to the country tomorrow (Tuesday) via London, had, in a leaked memo, alleged that undue interference of the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, on matters of national security had slowed down meaningful gains that Buhari had sought to achieve.
In the leaked memo to the service chiefs, which was published by an online platform, Premium Times, Monguno directed them (service chiefs) to desist from taking further directives from Kyari.
According to Monguno, in the memo, Kyari’s directives to service chiefs were sometimes issued without the knowledge or approval of the president, a practice he said had added to the government’s failure to contain insecurity.
“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 continued meddlesomeness by 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,” Monguno said in the memo dated December 9, 2019.
After the consultation, the service chiefs passed through the office of the Chief of Staff to the President on their way out, while the Chief of Army Staff was the last person sighted leaving about 3.55 pm.
There have been several calls for the sack of service chiefs because of the frightening security situation in the country.
While the House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for the ouster of the service chiefs, the Senate requested that a national emergency be declared over the state of insecurities.
President Buhari had on Sunday told Nigerians to expect an aggressive campaign to rout out the terrorists in the coming weeks.