Mohammed Babagana Monguno has had the fortune to have held some of the most prestigious but highly demanding roles whilst in the Nigerian Military and even after his stint in the Nigerian Army.
Wikipedia said he is a retired Nigerian military General and current National Security Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, a position he has held for six years. He was the Chief of Defence intelligence from July 2009 to September 2011, and Commander of the Brigade of Guards from 2007 to 2009. From the above career trajectory, it is not out of place to state emphatically that Monguno is one of the few whose ‘Chi’ (God) benevolently helped to crack their palm kernel (as professor Chinua Achebe would figuratively write).
But his actions, inactions and happenings around his office as the National Security Adviser to President Buhari is perhaps what should bother every rational but patriotic analyst of the precarious security situation in the Country of our birth.
Monguno as the National Security Adviser at a particular time that students and children are plucked off their schools by armed terrorists and kidnappers almost on weekly basis without strategic military- led effort at safe returns of these terrorized Children of Nigeria, is to say the least, a man who has overstayed his welcome as National Security Adviser.
Two other things that have happened with him, around him and about him, go to expose the universal fact that he is not a qualitative National Security Adviser because if s detailed statistical data of scenarios of insecurity are compiled, Nigeria ranks amongst the most troubled and terrorized society in the World. This was perhaps why a former United States Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell drew a fatalistic conclusion that Nigeria right now under this political dispensation has become a failed state.
The two things I alluded to are the corruption that stinks inside and within the office of the National Security Adviser assuming the investigative reports as published by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are anything to go by. The second incident is the confession openly made by the National Security Adviser that the Kaduna based Islamic cleric Ahmad Gumi has the right to meet armed bandits. This claim is preposterous and shows the unambiguous evidence that the National Security Adviser has failed.
This is because, the activities and speeches in public fora by Sheikh Ahmad Gumi directly contradicts the terrorism prevention Act, 2013 which is a valid law of Nigeria.
The following is a run down of how one of the leading media houses in Nigeria reported the scam inside the office of the National Security Adviser.
The media reports that: “Soldiers on Wednesday threatened to shoot officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that came to mark properties seized from Brig. Gen Jafaru Mohammed, the Director of Finance and Administration at the Office of the National Security Adviser.
The EFCC had obtained an interim forfeiture from a Federal High Court in Abuja on March 11, 2021, and proceeded to mark eight properties belonging to the NSA’s aide.
Our correspondent, who visited Sun City in the Lokogoma area of Abuja on Wednesday, reported that after a team of EFCC officials began marking General Mohammed’s building located on 52 Main Street, Sun City, in red paint, armed soldiers arrived in a white Hilux marked GWA481EA and chased the EFCC officials away.
The soldiers took a bucket of water and soap and quickly cleaned off the markings which read, ‘EFCC Under Investigation, Keep Off!”
Our correspondent, who visited other properties linked to the general, observed that soldiers were on guard to prevent EFCC officials from marking them.
Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo had in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/007/2021 ordered the interim forfeiture of eight properties linked to General Mohammed who is a trusted aide to the NSA, Major General Babagana Moguno (retd.).
The investigation of Mohammed is part of a wider probe into the finances of the Office of the NSA.
Other properties affected include: A house at 7 God’s Own Estate, Road 1, Wamba District, a fenced plot at 1 Jubril Aminu Crescent, Katampe Extension, a plot at Kubwa Express Road directly opposite Abuja Model City Gate, A house at Block SD 22, Road 5, Kabusa Garden Estate, Abuja; Plot 15, 21st Crescent, Second Avenue, Gwarinpa, 3 Liverpool Close, Sun City Estate and 25 Osaka Street, Sun City.
The properties are believed to be worth billions of naira which far exceed the income of a brigadier general.”
On the other leg of the well founded reason why the National Security Adviser has failed to offer qualitative service to the Country is his statement that Sheikh Ahmad Gumi can as well meet with armed bandits.
Here is what the Terrorism prevention Act of 2013 said about the strident defence that Gumi continues to advance in favour of kidnappers and terrorists in the North: “Section 5(1) Any person who knowingly, in any manner, directly or indirectly, solicits or renders support
(a) for the commission of an act of terrorism or (b) to a terrorist group,
commits an offence under this Act and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty years.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, “support” includes-
(a) incitement to commit a terrorist act through the internet, or any electronic means or through the use of printed materials or through the dissemination of terrorist information;
(b) receipt or provision of material assistance, weapons including biological, chemical or explosives, training, weapons, false documentation or identification to terrorists or terrorist groups;
(c) receipt or provision of information or moral assistance, including invitation to adhere to a terrorist or terrorist group;
(d) entering or remaining in a country for the benefit of, or at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group; or
(e) the provision of, or making available, such financial or other related services prohibited under this Act or as may be prescribed by regulations made pursuant to this Act.
(3) In this section, it is not necessary to prove that the financial material or information or facilities or financial assistance was actually collected or provided if it can be reasonably established that the person collected or
provided the material, information or facilities or financial assistance to terrorists, or terrorist groups.”
Monguno does not care about the extant law which prohibits the kind of open Campaign in favour of terrorists that Ahmad Gumi has been waging but Monguno, the National Security Adviser said Ahmad Gumi has offered to help the government in tackling insecurity.
This is the same Ahmad Gumi who has the backing of the National Security Adviser to go about negotiating soft landing for terrorists and armed bandits has added fuel to the fire when he threatened that kidnapping of student will continue until government caves in to accept the blackmail of these terrorists.
Gumi who has been meeting with suspected bandits terrorising communities in the north-west and in the north-central had likened them to militants in the Niger-Delta, and asked that they are not tagged criminals.
He had also called on the federal government to grant blanket amnesty to the bandits.
At a state house briefing, General Monguno, while fielding questions from journalists, said he had met with Gumi, and that he is waiting to see how the cleric could help the government.
Hear him: “Sheik Gumi is doing what he’s doing because he believes in what he’s doing. He’s a Nigerian and under the constitution he can talk to anybody. He can deal with anybody,” he said.
“I met with him when I went with the service chiefs to Kaduna, and we spoke generally during the meeting and he resolved to help government. We are waiting for him. That’s all I can say.”
The NSA said the government is not averse to holding talks with bandits, but that it cannot negotiate with people who are unreliable.
“While government is not averse to talking with these entities, it also has to fully apply its weight. You can’t negotiate with people who are unreliable and who will continue to hurt society,” he said.
“We will apply the full weight of the government to deal with these criminals.
“These are not people looking for anything that is genuine or legitimate, they’re just out to take calculated measures to inflict pain and violence on innocent people. We must deal with them the way they need to be dealt with. We will fully assert the government’s will.”
Clearly, the Kaduna based Cleric is openly supporting terrorists. Sheik Abubakar Gumi urged the federal government to negotiate with the bandits in order to stop kidnappings in the country
Gumi, who was reacting to the abduction of some school children in Niger state, said the needless kidnappings would continue until there is genuine negotiation with bandits
According to him, the bandits are only looking for money, hence they resorted to the abduction of innocent students
In an exclusive interview with The Punch, the fiery cleric stated that there are about 100,000 armed bandits in the northwest alone.
Gumi said the bandits kidnapping school pupils were disappointed that he negotiated with them without the involvement of the federal government.
Speaking on the efforts to rescue the kidnapped pupils of Tegina Islamic School, Niger state, Gumi insisted that until the government engaged with the herdsmen, no school could be safe, especially in the north.
“But we are trying to talk sense to them that these are just innocent schoolchildren. We don’t even have any idea of the condition of the children. We are just saying these are young children trying to study and they did nothing, so why are you trying to take dirty money from their families?”
Gumi, however, said that with good engagement, education and enticements like jobs and other things, the bandits would leave the illegal job, adding that he needs a partner and that the government should understand that individuals like him alone cannot do it.
“All those we met (have stopped kidnapping), except for one of them who is kidnapping again, and he told us his reason, that he was neglected and he thought we had the mandate to negotiate.”
Gumi says bandits are tired, want genuine negotiation with FG Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Sheik Gumi declared that bandits terrorising some states across the country were tired and wanted peace. It was reported that the Kaduna-based Islamic scholar said bandits were ready to lay down their arms if they get a genuine partnership from the government.
Gumi noted that bandits said they were pushed into banditry by circumstances, adding that he had met with about 80% of the bandits.
How then can any rational writer ascribe the attribute of a good National Security Adviser to the occupant of that position in Nigeria when the person does not see anything wrong in providing moral support for bandits and terrorist
We will conclude by looking at some deep writing about the attributes of a good National Security Adviser so our readers can read them in vis-a-vis the heightened insecurity in Nigeria and draw their conclusion.
From the reference material we consulted, we were told that you know if you can be a successful advisor by seeing the following ten characteristics highlighted below:
1. Have a genuine interest in helping others succeed.
Professionals who are most successful in an advisor role are those truly passionate about working side-by-side with a CEO or business leader who needs a little extra help. Fortunately, advisors are being actively sought out by companies in nearly every industry imaginable, so it is easy to find companies with a mission that aligns with your personal interests.
Plus, being an on-demand advisory work allows you to decide when and how often you engage in opportunities to ensure all participation is meaningful – to both the advisor and company. On-demand advisors are hired by the hour, on the days and times that best suit their schedule; 2. Have in-depth expertise on a topic(s) in their field.
The knowledge and first-hand experiences that executives possess are extremely valuable to companies who need to fill gaps within their organization. If you have a specific expertise or skill-set that relates to a company’s needs, you become a critical asset in helping them overcome challenges or take on new opportunities; 3. Willingness to share advice and knowledge.
It’s one thing to be knowledgeable on a topic, but it’s another to want to share that expertise with others. Willingness to share advice is one of the most important aspects of being an advisor. As long as you’re open to teaching others what you know, you can play a very influential role in the success of another company; 4. Demonstrates effective communication skills.
Being able to communicate your thoughts and ideas in a way that others can understand is extremely important as an advisor. If the person on the receiving end of your advice doesn’t use the same terminology as you, you’ll need to break it down in a way that resonates with them.
There are also times when advisors have to be the voice of reason or disagree with a CEO for the betterment of the company, and in doing so they need to be straightforward and realistic with their reasonings. A good advisor provides constructive feedback in a way that encourages change or progress.
Digital advisory boards, like those sourced through AdvisoryCloud, allow you to communicate directly with companies and CEOs on an ongoing basis to help guide them toward better decision-making and solve their most pressing business needs; 5. Effectively sets and achieves goals.
A major component of being an advisor is helping a CEO or leadership team reach a specific goal or goals. CEOs have a lot on their plates, which can sometimes derail them from focusing on an objective they set at an earlier point. A good advisor steers the CEO back on track to make sure they achieve their goals. In doing so, you need to be fair and objective, as well as able to address challenges head-on.
For professionals looking to diversify their leadership experience, this is a great opportunity to take on new roles and add to your list of accomplishments; 6. Has a positive attitude and can be a positive role model.
Advisors have the unique opportunity to help shape the success of another company, and as a result they also have a unique relationship with the CEO. Many CEOs view their advisors as a personal mentor and role model, helping them to become better overall leaders. A successful advisor leads by example and provides support and a positive outlook during both good times and bad; 7. Leverages a network of peers.
In addition to their in-depth expertise, advisors have something else very valuable to offer – business connections. It may seem simple, but making a few introductions could open new doors and opportunities for a CEO. But don’t worry, you don’t need to give away your entire network, but instead evaluate your connections and decide where your business ties can be helpful to both parties involved – and as an added bonus will strengthen your existing relationships; 8. Ability to listen
As the person who is more experienced or more knowledgeable on a topic, it can be easier to voice your opinions and ideas. However, listening can be just as helpful. CEOs often need someone to talk through problems or bounce around ideas with, and being an attentive listener will give you insight into their thought processes or direction they’re trying to move toward – which ultimately helps you guide them toward achieving their goals; 9. Passionate about their work.
If you are passionate about the work you do, it will show. The most successful advisors are those who get excited about solving new challenges and eagerly approach new opportunities. If you are genuinely unimpressed by a company’s mission or values, you will be less motivated to perform well as an advisor; 10. Values the opinions of others.
Lastly, a good advisor respects and values the opinions of the people they work with. When you support the ideas of others you are better able to collaborate with them, build off those ideas, and create result-driven objectives. (advisorycloud.com)
Lauren Monsen in 2019 wrote thus:
“The national security adviser participates in meetings of the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) and usually chairs meetings of the council’s Principals Committee with the secretary of state and secretary of defense when the president is not in attendance. The national security adviser offers the president a range of options on national security issues.”
“Among other duties, the national security adviser helps plan the president’s foreign travel and provides background memos and staffing for the president’s meetings and phone calls with world leaders.”
“The national security adviser also prepares the president for NSC meetings, helps draft national security and foreign policy speeches, helps to prepare for meetings with congressional leaders, responds to presidential requests for information, and briefs the president on issues of the moment.”
“Stephen Hadley, who was President George W. Bush’s national security adviser from 2005 to 2009, described the scope of the job in a 2016 speech. He said the adviser needs to advance presidential initiatives within the executive branch of the federal government.”
Although the national security adviser works closely with Cabinet members, Hadley said he or she “must be careful not to usurp the role of the Cabinet officers — especially the secretaries of defense and state,” who run their departments and have authority over agency budgets.
From the above, there is no doubt that President Muhammadu Buhari needs to dismiss his National Security Adviser without any further delay.
EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO is head of the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and was a federal commissioner at the National Human Rights commission of Nigeria.