The National Security Adviser to the president, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (retd) was conspicuously missing at a special meeting of the service chiefs with President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday.
Political watchers are insinuating that the NSA’s absence may not be unconnected with the recent face-off between him and Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, who many perceive as the country’s de-facto president.
According to sources at the Villa, the closed-door meeting which took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, had in attendance the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. – Gen Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu.
The meeting is believed to centre on the country’s security challenges which security experts have warned may deteriorate further if steps are not taken by the president to ease out the present handlers of the country’s security apparatus.
On weekly basis, Buhari and the service chiefs hold routine security meetings but today’s is tagged ‘special consultation’.
The service chiefs were said to have passed through the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, on their way out with Army chief, Buratai, sighted leaving last at about 3.55 pm.
The National Assembly controlled by Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) had also joined the call for the sacking of the security chiefs.
However, a dissenting Buhari has insisted his regime would not take any hasty actions against the officers, who, he said, manned the country’s security operations since 2015.