NSA absent at Senate- service chiefs’ meeting

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The Senate, yesterday, grilled Service Chiefs and heads of other security agencies in the country for four hours.

While the Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olanisakin and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura appeared in person, other Service Chiefs and heads of security agencies, were represented by unnamed senior officers.

But the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, did not attend the briefing nor did he send any representative.

Apart from Monguno, Olanisakin and Daura, others invited were the Inspector-General of Police, Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service and Comptroller-General of Customs.

The security chiefs were summoned earlier in the month by the senate, following a motion moved by Barnabas Gemade, over incessant killings in Benue State.

They were invited to brief the senate on the proliferation of dangerous firearms, spate of killings by terrorists and kidnapping by hoodlums across the country.

Before meeting with security chiefs, the senate had two successive closed-door meetings- the first lasted 45 minutes and the other 25 minutes.

At the end of the grilling which lasted for over four hours behind closed door, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, revealed part of what transpired behind closed doors.

He said security chiefs blamed the escalating challenges on lack of operational funds to carry out their activities To his end, Saraki said the senate would fast-track any pending bills or protocols before the chamber that will assist in the fight against crimes and terrorism.

He also revealed that the Senate, in the next two weeks, will approve an emergency security budget to cater for financial challenges faced by security agencies in the country.

He equally promised to work with security agencies and salvage the country from crime and terrorism.

There was, however, a mild drama, when the Senate spokesman, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi briefed Senate correspondents after the day’s business.

When asked if the Nigeria Police Force, headed by Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris will benefit from the proposed security funds since a vote of no confidence had been passed on him, the spokesman accused journalists of “stoking unnecessary controversy where there is none.”