On Appointment of National Security Adviser, by Abubakar M Kareto
Appointing a retired general as NSA in Nigeria is a long-standing tradition established by military heads of state and maintained by successive governments. The military is only one of many parties involved in the fight against insecurity.
For the benefit of understanding the office of the NSA, Section 4 of the National Security Agencies Act, 1986, which disbanded the Nigerian Security Organisation and created three security agencies in its place – the Defence Intelligence Agency, the National Intelligence Agency and the State Security Service – specifically empowered the President, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to appoint a Coordinator on National Security.
Section 4(2) of the Act states that: “The Coordinator on National Security shall be a Principal Staff Officer in the Office of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.” And Section 4(3) defined the role of the Coordinator on National Security to include: Advising the President, on matters concerning intelligence activities of the (created) agencies; Making recommendations about the activities of the agencies to the President as contingencies may warrant; Correlating and evaluating intelligence reports relating to national security and providing the appropriate dissemination of such intelligence within Government using existing facilities as the President may direct; Determining the number and level of staff to be employed by each agency established by the Act; and Doing such other things in connection with the foregoing provisions of this section as the President may determine.
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Later, Section 1 of the National Security Agencies Decree, 1986 (INSTRUMENT NO. NSA 1) transferred the functions of the Coordinator on National Security to the National Security Adviser.
G.W. Bush appointed Condoleezza Rice as National Security Advisor on December 16, 2000, and she resigned as director of the Hoover Institution (officially The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace; abbreviated as Hoover) at Stanford University, where she is a Professor of Security and Strategic Studies.
Back here in Africa, Monica Kathina Juma is a Kenyan diplomat who currently serves as President William Ruto’s National Security Advisor. She previously worked in President Uhuru’s cabinet as the Cabinet Secretary for Defense.
More importantly, the NSA chosen ought to depict the practicalities of that nation, and it makes sense to select one who understands the social, cultural, and political determinants of conflict in countries where internal security is compromised. An NSA is not combative.
Their strength is their ability to forecast the state of security in the country by analyzing patterns and intelligence, which necessitates intellectual and sociological sophistication. Moreover, the NSA is responsible for overseeing the intelligence activities of the agencies listed in their Establishment Act.