The National Security Council has acknowledged that recent security developments are fuelling fears among the population, making citizens to tend towards seeking self-help.

It however emphasised that winning the war against terrorists depends a lot on all, including the civilian population, who are required to help the efforts of security, intelligence and armed agencies with useful information.

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno, who disclosed these to State House Correspondents after the almost five-hour meeting, also said the Armed Forces had assured of introducing new strategies to counter the escalating insecurity in coming weeks.

Monguno, who said Thursday’s meeting, the third in less than a month, was a follow up on the one held last week, however said fighting the sort of insecurity facing the country can only be successful when it is confronted with the ‘whole of society’ approach.

“This meeting was convened by the President as a continuation of the meeting that took place last week, to discuss the technical issues and the taskings that were given to the various security agencies. The meeting deliberated on all those issues, after the brief by the National Security Adviser, which is usually the procedure.

“Again, the Council has seen it necessary to inform the general public that fight in this type of asymmetric conflict is a collective effort, it’s not something that should be confined to only the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies. When we keep saying whole of society approach, whole of government approach, to get a whole of nation approach, what it means is that everybody has to partake in this enterprise.

“We are in a very difficult situation and Council understands. Mr. President understands people’s concerns about the growing insecurity, but I can assure you that there’s no straight, cut and dried method of dealing with this thing unless all of us embrace each other. I know people are wary, people are tired, people are beginning to gravitate to other places for self-help. The truth is that help is rooted in everyone working for the other person.

“The truth is that no country can ever overcome the difficulties of an asymmetric conflict by virtue of the fact that the enemy of the state is embedded within the population, within the wider society. It is true that the local people are averse, they’re scared, they’re worried and there’s no confidence. That is understandable. But without their support, without their cooperation in terms of giving information, it makes it very hard for the operational elements,” he said.

Making reference to the reported attack on the Guards’ Brigade earlier in the week, Monguno pointed out such an attack could have been averted had the civilian population been supporting the efforts of security agencies with required information.

“A few days ago, troops of the Guards Brigade were ambushed and decimated. Had there been a collective effort by way of just snippets of information, we might have averted that incident. That is not to say that the responsibility is for those outside the security domain, it’s a collective responsibility,” he said.

He warned the media and the political elite to be sensitive in what they push out to the general public, noting that some reports have the elements that can aggravate the already volatile situation, even as some comments coming from those considered to be leaders of thought are capable of harming the mood of society.

He also said new strategies would soon be deployed by security agencies to tame the situation.

The Security Council meeting, which held at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, was attended by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd).

Also in attendance were the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi; Minister of Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (Rtd).

Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Awwal Gambo; the Chief of Air Staff, Air-Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao; and the Chief of Defense Intelligence, Major-General Samuel Adebayo, were also in attendance.

Also in attendance were the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman; the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.