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On President Tinubu’s appointment of veteran police officer Nuhu Ribadu as Nigeria’s NSA, by S A Ajiya

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On President Tinubu’s appointment of veteran police officer Nuhu Ribadu as Nigeria’s NSA, by S A Ajiya

Many narratives have been read/heard following President Tinubu’s choice of Malam Ribadu as National Security Adviser (NSA). To a mass of us, the President’s actions in this regard are worth applauding. One thing is the Police, the Military; Army, Airforce and the Navy et al are all security establishments by virtue of their norms of office, call, institutional requirements and roles and expectations.

Based on the above, any of them can give advice on security matters as part of their experiences. Now, the Military work whether in a time of peace or war, just like the Police, a nation at peace needs the services of the police more than that of the military to keep pace.

Thus, the role of the Nigeria Police Force in maintaining peace/order is constitutionally guaranteed. During warfare, the Military use rifles, guns, artillery, and armoured machines on land, air and sea. But the police use these to a limited extent, battles are fought usually at the enemy lines usually away from the towns/cities by the Military.

On the other hand, police duty is people-based whether during peace or war. So the police are closer to the people than the Miltary who may not always be around because of the nature of duty.

This follows in times of insurgency, banditry or even war, the police are better placed to give advice to the president/government since those ‘criminalistics’ have their roots in societies where certain individuals or groups are the perpetrators.

Nigeria has had Police Security Advisers in the past, veteran police officers like the late Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi (NPM), and late Alhaji Gambo Jimeta etc did their best as National Security Advisers as there was no insurgency/banditry from the beginning to the end of their tenures. It has been shown that while the military language involves force, the police often resort to dialogue with the courts (Due Process) to resolve conflicts and this will positively impact the new NSA’s job.

Studying the Security Advisers of other nations (States) like the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Ghana and Niger Republic etc will show that even civilians have held such posts successfully. Now, if Nigeria made a civilian Minister of Defence as seen in the Tafawa Balewa, and Shehu Shagari governments to list just a few, why can’t President BA Tinubu make Malam Nuhu Ribadu, National Security Adviser (NSA)?

Malam S A Ajiya writes from Gombe, Nigeria.

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