The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, was conspicuously absent at the National Security Council meeting President Muhammadu Buhari held with the service chiefs at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday. The reason for his absence was not made known. Buratai, was, however, represented at the meeting by the Army Chief of Policy and Plans, Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun. The chief of army staff is not known to be meeting such meeting when Abba Kyari was in control of the presidency.
Buratai had, however, relocated to Borno State to strengthen the war against Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast.
The Chief of Army Staff is among the service chiefs that Nigerians have been mounting pressures on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack for failure to guarantee the security of the country.
Moreover, the Army boss was known to be more loyal to the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, than to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno. The NSA had in a letter to the President protested that the service chiefs were reporting to late Abba Kyari rather than his office. Kyari was also said to have usurped multiple powers in the presidency, including supervising diplomatic meetings and visits to the presidency.
The death of Abba Kyari may have brought Buratai to the reality of his faith. Is he preparing for retirement or deliberately avoiding Monguno whose authority appears to have been restored on the appointment of Prof. Ibrahim Gambari as chief of Staff to the president?
However, the National Security Council meeting on Thursday was attended by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; the Minister of Defence, Retired Major General Bashir Magashi; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, etc.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, led the service chiefs to the meeting at the State House, Abuja.
The service chiefs present at the meeting include the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and the Chief of Policy and Plans, Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun, who perhaps represented Buratai. Others security heads included the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; and Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi.