Kola Abiola, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), has claimed that the National Security Council (NSC) has not sat for one day since 1999.
Abiola made this claim at the presidential town hall meeting organized by Arise Television in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in Abuja.
He is one of the four presidential candidates present at the first in the series of town hall meeting, held on Sunday.
Also present at the event was Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Ifeanyi Okowa, vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who stood in for Atiku Abubakar, the party’s flagbearer.
They all shared their plans for the country on security and the economy if elected president.
Reuben Abati, the interviewer asked the candidates what they would have done differently if they were the commander-in-chief, after bandits attacked the Kaduna-Abuja train in March 2022.
In his response to the question regarding security challenges, Abiola said the National Security Council has not sat since 1999.
“The unfortunate incident is one of the many security problems we’ve had over the years. It’s just one of the problems that show the larger problem we have. There is a need to go back and address our security, and defence architecture.
“Over the years, there have been talks about reviewing that, making it get better but is that really the question? If I’m right, since 1999, the National Security Council has not sat for one day and that is the body that governs the security situation in Nigeria. That body has not sat since 1999,” Abiola said.
TheCable reviewed Section 153, subsection 25 of the 1999 constitution which established officials that constitute the NSC.
According to the section: “The National Security Council shall comprise of “(a) the President who shall be the Chairman; (b) the Vice-President who shall be the Deputy Chairman; (c) the Chief of Defence Staff; (d) the Minister of the Government of the Federation charged with the responsibility for internal affairs. (e) the Minister of the Government of the Federation charged responsibility for defence; (f) the Minister of the Government of the Federation charged with the responsibility for foreign affairs; (g) the National Security Adviser (h) the Inspector-General of Police; and (i) such other persons as the President may in his discretion appoint.”
Subsection 26 explains that the Council is tasked with the responsibility of advising the president on matters relating to public security, “including matters relating to any organisation or agency established by law for ensuring the security of the Federation”.
TheCable had reported on October 14 that President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a meeting of the national security council at the presidential villa in Abuja.
The report noted that vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Babagana Monguno, national security adviser (NSA), and Ibrahim Gambari, chief of staff to the president, were all present at the meeting.
Other ministers in attendance were Bashir Magashi, minister of defence, Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, and Maigari Dingyadi, the minister of police affairs. All service chiefs and heads of other security agencies were also present at the meeting.
Also, on October 31, 2022, it was reported that the president convened an emergency security council meeting.
The meeting held in Abuja to further review and strengthen the security network in the country.
Abiola’s claim that the NSC is yet to sit since 1999 is false. The preseident met with members of the council in Abuja on October 31, 2022.