Restructure Security System, US Tells Jonathan
Jonathan may have to redesign the office of the National Security
Adviser in the Presidency in the fight against Boko Haram, in line with new
suggestions for a clearing house for intelligence gathering against terrorism
being proposed by the US government.
Sources in the United States said the Secretary of State,
Hillary Clinton, left her meeting with Jonathan
at Aso Rock content that the Boko Haram menace could be defeated in
Nigeria if the government took advantage of new tools and ideas put on the
table by the US government.
Specifically, the US government, during the Clinton-Jonathan
meeting, asked the FG to create a central office in the Presidency that would
combine all intelligence units just like the US government did after the
September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Again, after the December 2009 Abdulmutallab’s failed US
jetliner attack, the Barrack Obama administration further consolidated American
government’s counter terrorist attack.
Sources said it is the same model that the Americans are now
suggesting that the Federal Government adopts; and, already, it is believed
that President Jonathan is very receptive to the idea.
Recall that the US government had explained to the Federal
Government that, if by the end of this year, the Boko Haram problem had not
been contained, the US State Department would proceed to designate the entire
sect, a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO), a decision the Nigerian Embassy
in the US is strongly opposed to.
But the offer of new assistance by Clinton on Thursday on
how to deal with problem is seen as an expression of the US government
readiness to work with Nigeria on the proactive side in dealing with the terror
group, and a last ditch effort before designating Boko Haram an FTO, as the
Republican-controlled Congress is pressurising it to do.
The Tide recalls an Associated Press report, over the
weekend, which said the US Secretary of State had asked President Jonathan to
“create an ‘intelligence fusion cell’ that would combine information from the
military, spy services, police and other federal, state and local agencies.”
When the US first adopted a similar strategy after the 2001
attacks, then US President George W. Bush had to name a new National Director
of Intelligence (NDI), who then became responsible for combining all the
several US government intelligence-based outfits, including CIA, FBI, Military
Intelligence and many others.
The NDI is the one that briefs the American president on a
daily basis on all matters of intelligence gathering.
In addition to that office, which still exists in the US
government, the White House also has a presidential adviser on
counter-terrorism, who advises the president directly on matters of the fight
But it was not clear whether President Jonathan, in
accepting the idea, will appoint people to similar positions, considering that,
in the current model of the Nigerian Presidency, the National Security Adviser
(NSA) is seen as the clearing house for all security matters.