Of the 21 military, paramilitary and other allied security agencies in the country, only five have persons from the North Central, Southeast and South-South as their Heads, a research analysis by PRNigeria has shown.
They are the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Federal Fire Service (FFS), the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Police Service Commission (PSC), and the Nigerian Navy.
In fact, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, the newly appointed Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, is the only officer from the South East holding any leadership position among the military and security agencies operating in the country. But the North Central region has Ahmed Abubakar Audi, the Controller General of the NSCDC; and Engr. Jaji Olola Abdulganiyu, the Controller General of the Fire Service.
The North West and the South East, according to the PRNigeria analysis, got the lion’s share of the Heads of the 21 agencies. No fewer than 12 persons from the two geo-political zones are steering the affairs of various military and security outfits, together with oversight and emergency response agencies. Those representing the Northwest are seven.
They include the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Maj. Gen. Christopher Musa; the Chief of Air Staff, CAS, Air Vice Marshall Hassan Abubakar; Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional Service, NCoS, Haliru Nababa; the Director General of the Department of State Security Service, DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi; the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; the Board Secretary of the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board, CDCFIB, Ja’afaru Ahmed; and the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Ahmed Mustapha Habib.
On the other hand, the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Maj. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja; Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, Kayode Egbetokun; Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Adepoju Carol Wura-Ola; Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Olufunmileyi Owasanoye, all hail from the South West. The North East, with four of its ‘sons’ piloting the affairs of four security-allied agencies, trails the South West, which has five.
They include Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser, NSA, from Adamawa State; Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, also from Adamawa State; Mr. Abdulkarim Chukkol, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from Borno State; and Dauda Ali Biu, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC. Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye, the newly-appointed Chief of Defence Intelligence, CDI, and Mr. Solomon Arase, Chairman of the Police Service Commission, PSC, are the only South-South Indigenes leading two out of the 21 security-allied agencies identified by PRNigeria.
Meanwhile, PRNigeria reports that 10 out of 21 Security Heads are yet to be confirmed as the substantive helmsmen of the agencies under review in their special report. They are presently working on acting capacities. But the other 11 have long been confirmed by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who appointed them.
Asked if the ‘lopsided’ spread of security agencies’ Heads to the country’s geo-political zones matters in the fight against insecurity, Dr. Araka Okolieaboh, a Strategic Trend Analyst and Energy Security Consultant begged to disagree. Notwithstanding the composition of the recent appointments of security chiefs based on religion, tribe, and region, Okolieaboh, who is also a Research Fellow in Defence and Strategic Studies at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, maintained that the strategic importance of merit should be first considered.
Dr. Okolieaboh however, said: “I am not surprised that the North-West region got the highest number which I attribute to her long-time involvement in mainstream politics and her strategic implantation plans to maintain the top have always given her leverage over other regions, also considering her size and population as well as her interest in those areas of service delivery is a good explanation why they should get that number.
“Politics from my observation is all about who gets what, when, and how, for the South-East that got the lowest, one can also view that from the lens of political participation, our survey indicates that young men from the South East region will rather go in for entrepreneurship and other private sector engagement rather than serve for twenty-five years before getting to the peak of their careers if you check the number of applications into the Nigerian Police Forces from the region between 2019 and 2022.
“It is also important to note that any regime will want to work with those whose inclinations and interests are geared towards nation-building and national security stability. While the numbers of appointments that went to the South-West and the North East are expected from our trend analysis and historical dialectics however, the North-Central and the South-South have often been considered based on availability and political participation”.
Download the Table on Head of Military-Security SEctor in Nigeria and States of Origin: https://prnigeria.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2023/07/Heads-Military-Security-Sector.pdf