An Open Letter to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

An Open Letter to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

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January 9, 2024

Dear President Bola Ahmad Tinubu,Let us start by wishing you a Happy New Year, May the almighty make it peaceful and prosperous to all Nigerians.

Your Excellency, We write this letter to you with a deep sense of concerned, patriotism, and devotion for our beloved country, Nigeria. Since the coming of your administration, it is quite clear to all Nigerians that it will not be business as usual and some drastic policy and institutional restructuring will be implemented in order to salvage the future of this country.

However, while at it, it is necessary that Mr. President be conscious of the effort by some people and politicians in the government to deceive Mr. President try into certain structural and constitutional changes to some government institutions while concealing the fact that the true intention and motive for such move is about their personal and political interest.

Mr President Sir, the present push for a bill by some members of your government to make the National Assembly change the provision that establish the office of the NSA and allow the NSA to recruit and establish own staffs similar to existing government agencies and parastatals is ill informed and can set a very bad precedence.First and foremost, passing this bill will mean that the overall office of the NSA infrastructure will have to be overhauled to avoid conflict with the sections of the constitution that establish it or the section of the constitution will have to be changed to accommodate the bill.

Also, the end product of the bill is re-structuring the office of the NSA into an agency or parastatal with unlimited privileges over the already existing intelligence agencies such as National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Department of State Service (DSS), and Military.

This has the potential of creating many overlaps in the functions of these agencies and will further widen disunity, rivalry and lack of synergy between the various security agencies.

Presently, the NSA has been the fulcrum of maintaining and enforcing co-operation between the security agencies, and one key component of its success is due to the fact that it derives staffs and collaborations from the various security agencies, such that the agencies do not see the office of the NSA as a rival agency.Secondly, the normal practice is that the NSA can obtain trained and experience staffs from the security agencies (i.e., staffs who already trained and experienced to fill into national security roles). Thus, restructuring the office of the NSA into an agency and allowing it to recruit its own staffs at present will very much reduce the efficiency in the operations of the office of the NSA.

This is because the office of the NSA will not be able to fill the roles with candidates of the desired expertise and speciality, it will end of spending years (may be decades) and billions of Naira to train these staffs to the desired level of competency and the other security agencies will be reluctant to share staffs with the NSA as they will feel they are no longer stakeholders in the office of NSA.

With the current security and financial challenges bedeviling this country, this is definitely a wrong move and a wrong timing as well.Lastly but not the least Mr. President, the office of the NSA is known to be one of the only offices that work with highly professional and skilled staffs extracted from the various security agencies mainly based on merit, skills and capacity.

If allowed to follow the route of the other agencies and parastatals, there is the risk of politicising the agency through biased and unjustified recruitments as witness in many government agencies (including some security agencies) and if this happens in the office of the NSA it will not serve the interest of our national security.Mr President, the onus of making the right decisions about our country rest on your shoulders and I am confident that you will not allow such dubious bill to be pushed through using your name and or support.

Sincerely yours, Abdulrazaq Alkali



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