The National Security Advise (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.), was absent on Monday as President Muhammadu Buhari met with the service chiefs.
The closed-door meeting took place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Those in attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar; and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, also attended the meeting, believed to centre on security challenges.
Buhari and the service chiefs hold routine security meetings weekly, but Monday’s was tagged a “special consultation.”
The service chiefs later passed through the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, on their way out.
Buratai was the last sighted leaving about 3.55pm.
Pressure has been mounted on Buhari lately to sack the service chiefs, amid escalating security challenges in the country.
The National Assembly too has called for the sacking of the chiefs.
However, the President has yet to heed the calls and his regime argues that it will not take any hasty actions against the officers, who manned the country’s security operations since 2015.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the National Security Adviser, Babangana Monguno, was not meant to attend the Buhari had with security chiefs and the IG, one of the President’s aides has explained.
The Personal Assistant to the President on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, disclosed this in a message he posted on his Twitter handle, @BashirAhmaad.
Ahmad was reacting to media reports that Monguno was conspicuously missing at the meeting which was the first Buhari had with the service chiefs after his (Monguno’s) letter to them (the service chiefs) to stop holding meeting with and taking instructions from the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, became a public knowledge.
“NSA was initially not part of the meeting,” he simply wrote.
But the tradition has been that the NSA and the Minister of Defence are always present whenever the President is meeting security chiefs.