Jonathan Holds Impromptu Parley with Security Chiefs

Setting aside protocol President Goodluck Jonathan Monday held an impromptu parley with top security chiefs at the Presidential, Abuja, hours before the rendezvous for such weekly security meetings usually scheduled for Tuesday. The parley is coming barely 24 hours after the renewed spate of violence in Jos, Plateau State, where more than a hundred people have lost their lives, including Senator Gyang Dantong and the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani.

For three-hours the doyens of the nation’s security apparatus met with the President, while State House correspondents waited outside for the traditional press briefing by the National Security Adviser (NSA) or his proxy the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) or any of the security chiefs. Instead they played pranks with the reporters passing them from one to the other; while refusing to say anything individually. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen.Azubuike Ihejirika told reporters to meet the CDS, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin.

The CDS simply passed them onto the NSA who was yet to have come out of the Villa then. About 10 minutes after the other security chiefs had left, Dasuki came out and referred them to Petinrin for comments. When the NSA was reminded that it was his turf to meet the press and the CDS has indicated that he will do so, he asked without breaking his stride as he strode towards his car: “Is that what the CDS said (that I am the one to talk)? Ok. I am now saying ‘go back to the CDS.’” He shunned information passed to him that the CDS had left the State House and muzzled his way into his waiting car with his security detail. However, responding to a journalist’s inquiry about the killing of the lawmakers in Jos, Dasuki replied: “Is that what happened? No, that was not what happened!” as his driver sped off.

A couple of days ago the NSA had admonished journalists to report his movements and speeches accurately, saying that his experience with them so far has been unpleasant.
Sources told me that the security chiefs came out fuming because the President was visibly unsatisfied with developments in Plateau State despite his recent reshuffle of the apparatchik.

Sunday night President Jonathan had given them the marching order to produce the perpetrators of the murder of the lawmakers who were attending the funeral of their kinsmen killed a day before.
Speaking through his spokesperson, Dr Reuben Abati, the President ordered that all the relevant security agencies must ensure that all those involved in the killing are brought to book.
"The Federal Government is working hard to ensure that there is a check on impunity. That much was demonstrated with the recent changes made in the top echelon of our security architecture especially with the appointment of the new National Security Adviser,” Abati told reporters late Sunday night.

Those who attended the impromptu meeting included, Dasuki, Petinrin; Minister of State, Defence, Mrs. Olusola Obada; Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade; Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro; acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Muhammed Abubakar; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ola Ibrahim; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar; and the Director-General, State Security Service, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong.

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