President Bola Tinubu on Thursday approved the appointment of the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, as his Special Adviser on Security.
The new development, according to presidential sources who spoke to The Whistler on Thursday, indicates that Tinubu may have scrapped the office of the National Security Adviser and replaced it with that of Special Adviser on Security. The security adviser’s functions would, however, remain the same as the NSA’s.
The presidential source revealed that President Tinubu may have opted to name Ribadu as special security adviser, instead of NSA, to avoid hurting the nation’s military chiefs who may not consider a retired police officer as a competent superior.
The rivalry among security agencies in the country is well documented, especially the lack of love lost between the military and the police over roles in national security. The police force has always complained about the military’s incursion into its constitutional mandate of being in charge of internal security.
The development had led to claims that security funding was channeled more to the military to the detriment of the police force.
By appointing Ribadu as a security adviser, the presidential source said security chiefs will now report directly to the president instead of the NSA.
The decision to bypass the traditional appointment of an NSA, if unaltered, will confirm concerns about the silent rivalry between the police and the military.
Another presidential source echoed that the decision to do away with an NSA was due to Ribadu’s background in the police force which might lead to perceived bias in favour of the police among military personnel and that the sentiment likely influenced Tinubu’s choice to appoint him in a different capacity.
Ribadu is widely recognized for his remarkable track record as the chairman of the EFCC, where he spearheaded the fight against corruption during his tenure. His appointment as the Special Adviser on Security positions him as a key advisor to President Tinubu on matters pertaining to national security.
While his experience in law enforcement and the fight against financial crimes have earned him respect, questions may however arise regarding his expertise in handling broader security matters that extend beyond his previous role at the EFCC.
As Special Adviser on Security to the President, Ribadu will be tasked with coordinating efforts across various agencies to ensure the safety and stability of the nation.
President Tinubu’s decision to bypass the appointment of an NSA may signify his desire for a more direct and hands-on approach to national security matters.
The online newspaper further reports that by having the security chiefs report directly to him, Tinubu may be aiming to maintain a tight grip on security decision-making and ensure a seamless flow of information without potential obstacles arising from the rivalry between Ribadu and the military chiefs.