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Ribadu, CDS, absent at Senate’s interface with security chiefs

Akpabio said that the proposed interface had been expanded to include other heads of security agencies.

Nigerian senators with Senate President Godswill Akpabio (left) [Tope Brown]

The Senate had Jan. 30 summoned the Service Chiefs and heads of security agencies for an interface on Wednesday.

Speaking, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, said that the NSA sent apologies for the inability of the security chiefs to attend the meeting as scheduled.

Akpabio said that the proposed interface had been expanded to include other heads of security agencies.

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“It is important to invite the Minister of Defence, Minister of State for Defence, Minister of Police Affairs, Minister of State for Police Affairs, Minister of Interior, Minister of Finance, and the National Security Adviser among others.

”We received reports that even security officials have lost their lives in the course of struggling and fighting to bring the situation under control.

”While we welcome you, we want you to know that it is not because we are passing the buck or blaming any of you for anything.

”We believe you are doing your best; we want to hear from you and also make contributions on how to improve the situation,” he said.

Akpabio added: ”We received apologies from the National Security Adviser that he is in a bilateral discussion with the representative of security chiefs from the United Kingdom.

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”While we welcome you, we believe the team is not yet complete, I don’t know if the Senate will want to proceed but my personal opinion would be that we would like to have with you the Chief of Defence Staff.

”We would also like to have the National Security Adviser, Minister of Defence, Minister of State for Defence, Minister of Police Affairs, Minister of State for Police Affairs, Minister of Interior, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy.”

The motion to adjourn the security briefing by the service chiefs was thereafter moved by the Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele and seconded by the Minority Leader, Senator Abba Moro.

Akpabio thanked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoheed Lagbaja, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Hassan Abubakar, for honouring the Senate’s invitation

He also thanked the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Malam Yusuf Bichi.

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“We thank you all for honouring our invitation for the very important interface on the way out of the lingering security crisis at hand.

”But due to the absence of the NSA and the Chief of Defence Staff, the interactive session will no longer be held today,” he said.

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