Written by Okey Muogbo and Taiwo Adisa:
THE National Security Adviser, (NSA), Major-General Sarki Mukhtar has been sacked by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan. He was replaced with Lt-General Aliyu Gusau who held the position under the immediate past president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Mukhtar was sacked immediately after the National Security Council (NSC) meeting chaired by Acting President Jonathan on Monday evening which he (Mukhtar) also attended.
Nigerian Tribune had on Monday, March 1, exclusively reported a likely sack or redeployment of top security officials, including General Mukhtar and the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Dambazzau, over the deployment of troops on the day ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua was smuggled into the country.
A statement from the Presidency, signed by Mr. Ima Niboro, Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President, said, “The Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has appointed Lt. Gen. Aliyu Gusau (rtd), as National Security Adviser.
“He replaces Maj. Gen. Sarki Mukhtar”, the two-paragraph statement said.
Dr. Jonathan thanked the outgoing NSA for his services to the nation and the present administration, and wished him well in his future endeavours.
His sack was alleged to have been linked to the Jos crises which have been recurring for some time now.
It was gathered that government was angry with him on how he had handled security reports sent to the president which he allegedly failed to take action on.
Sources within the security network said even when warning report on the recent Boko Haram uprising in the northern parts of the country was sent to the presidency when President Umaru Yar’Adua was still in charge, no action was taken on the matter.
Mukhtar may not be the only officer to face the music over the Jos crisis, as sources from the National Security Council meeting hinted that other security officers who aided the religious crisis may be sanctioned.
Briefing State House reporters after the meeting, Mr Niboro said the renewed crisis in Jos was top on the agenda.
Niboro said adequate measures had been put in place to contain the crisis and assured Nigerians that the government was on top of the matter.
The incoming NSA left the office towards the end of the Obasanjo regime to contest the 2007 presidential election, which made the regime to replace him with Mukhtar.
Those present at the NSC meeting included the Chief of Defence Staff, Paul Dike; the Service Chiefs, Abdulrahman Danbazzau (Army); Oluseyi Petinri (Air Force); Ishaya Iko Ibrahim (Navy); and the Director-General of the State Security Services (SSS), Afakriya Gadzama; the Inspector General of Police, Ogbonna Onovo and Chief of Defence Intelligence.
Emerging facts indicated, on Monday, that Acting President Jonathan removed General Mukhtar from office as a result of what was called failure of intelligence.
Sources in government told the Nigerian Tribune that the outbreak of fresh violence in Jos was the immediate push for the acting president’s action but there were other related security breaches perpetrated under the nose of Mukhtar.
It was gathered that the former NSA’s failure to brief the acting president on the return of President Umaru Yar’Adua was also considered as a failure of intelligence.
A source further said Jonathan saw the outbreak of violence in Jos as a breach of his order as he had earlier directed full intelligence operation in Jos area.
It was learnt that Jonathan believed that security of every Nigerian was paramount and that the failure of the ex-NSA to guarantee that amounted to deriliction of duty.
The appointment of General Gusau as the new NSA was said to be a strategic move to tap from the experience of the top security chief who served during the administrattion of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
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