Monday, 29 August 2011
FORTY-EIGHT hours after the United Nations (UN) House bombing in Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly made a shocking discovery of the failure of the intelligence and security agencies, leading to intelligence failure and the high profile bombing of Diplomatic Street.
The president was said to have experienced rude shock and embarrassment over Friday’s bombing and later sought an independent security assessment outside the formal security channels that revealed internal weaknesses deserving of urgent redress and action.
A top administration official told the Nigerian Tribune that President Jonathan, in his determination to find lasting solutions to insecurity, has discovered a number of sensitive and disturbing internal lapses which he was previously not aware of.
Contrary to earlier reports, President Jonathan was said to have discovered that the morale of security operatives was very low, leading to their inability to infiltrate the Boko Haram sect and secure details of their internal operations and organisational structure.
The issue of low morale was said to be visible even among members of the task force currently deployed in Borno State as well as the operatives in Abuja and other sensitive zones, a development allegedly traceable to low emoluments and alleged scrapping of certain operation allowances.
Part of the discovery, the Nigerian Tribune further learnt, was alleged low funding or improper prioritisation of security expenditure, which led to reported under-funding of expenditure considered by many operatives to be critical to the smooth execution of their task without possibility of compromise.
Other lapses discovered was the lack or non-application of technical capacity in the area of intelligence gathering, a weakness said to be associated with improper placement of qualified and skilled personnel and wrong focus in terms of purchase of security infrastructure.
The services were said to be concentrating much energy on physical show of strength, such as the increasing deployment of soldiers for enforcement duties and the increasing visibility of the intelligence service, instead of focusing on what the source called their traditional duty of intelligence gathering.
President Jonathan was said to have heard even more shocking details about the state of the security apparatus, including the alleged refusal of some agencies to cooperate with the National Security Adviser.
It was learnt that the report had now forced the president to take a new look at the security apparatus, with report noting that there was a plan to rejig the top echelon of the security apparatus to tackle the persisting menace.
According to the source, “people must accept responsibility for this. No doubt, some people will go in the next few days. We can no longer tolerate the situation, especially with the information at the disposal of the president.”
Meanwhile, forensic experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the United States of America (USA) have joined a team of bomb experts from the State Security Service (SSS), to commence forensic analysis of bits and pieces picked up at the site of the bomb blast.
Sources in Abuja confirmed to the Nigerian Tribune that the experts had recovered a number of items which could provide clues to the details of the planned attack.
The Islamic group, Boko Haram, had claimed responsibility for the attack, which had so far claimed 23 lives.
Sources confirmed that the experts had restricted themselves to forensic analysis of items removed from the site, so as to get further details on the nature of the attack and some inherent information.
It was gathered on Sunday that the experts had discovered that the suicide bomber used locally assembled bombs in the attack.
“I can confirm to you that the attackers used locally-assembled bombs made from fertiliser equipment,” a source said, adding that the analysts were unrelenting in their efforts aimed at unravelling the true identity of the perpetrators.
It was also learnt that the experts were working out a scenario where they would be able to give some details about the suicide bomber, so as to identify the foreign links of the attack.
It was also gathered that the administration was in possession of intelligence reports indicating that the attack on the UN House in Abuja was part of the grand design by the al-Queda group to mark the 10th anniversary of the attack of the Twin Towers in the US in 2001.