For the record: Leadership of key security agencies in Nigeria

*L-R: AVM Hassan Abubakar (CAS), Maj. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja (COAS), DIG Kayode Egbetokun (IGP), Maj.-Gen. Christopher Musa (CDS) and Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogall (CNS).

*Lt Colonel Yakubu Gowon was the first Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Lt General Alani Akinrinade has been the only South West COAS out of 26, and he occupied the position for only six months. Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja who is presently the COAS, is only the second South Westerner to hold this position, in almost 60 years of Nigerian COASs. Out of a total of 27 COASs, 20 have hailed from different Northern zones.

*Out of 22 IGs (Inspector General of Police), 12 have been from the different Northern zones, 4 from the South South, only 1 from the South East, while Kayode Egbetokun is the 5th IG from the South West.

*From when the SSS/DSS started as the NSO, there have been 12 Director Generals. Matthew Seiyefa from the South South, who was passed over for Lawal Daura was only in the position for a month, while 7 DGs hailed from the various Northern zones. Colonel Kayode Are is the only DG SSS from the South West. Every Nigerian National Security Adviser (NSA) apart from Colonel Kayode Are who held the position in an acting capacity for two weeks (September 18, 2010 – October 4, 2010) and General Andrew Azazi, the 8 others have all hailed from the various Northern zones.

*The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) has been skewed to the Southern zones, since out of 20 Nigerians, 16 have been Southerners (7 South West) and only 4 Northerners. It could however be that, since the North is mostly landlocked, Northerners are not too attracted to the Navy. Presently, the CNS is from the South East.

*As for the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) – the leadership appears to have been more balanced in terms of North and South, in that, out of 20 Nigerians, there have been 9 from the North, 11 from the South, including 6 South Westerners. Presently, the CAS is from the North West.

*Today, the Chief of Defence Staff, Minister of Defence and Minister of State of Defence, NSA, DG SSS (DSS), DG, NIA, Minister of Police Affairs and Minister of State of Police Affairs are all from Northern zones. So, pray tell, where is the marginalisation of the North, when, to date, it appears that contrary to Section 1(2) of the Constitution, the security agencies that are responsible for ensuring that Government achieves its primary purpose, have always been and remain in the hands of the Northern zones? Under President Buhari, the IG, COAS, & CAS were also from the North. See Section 14(3) of the Constitution, on Federal Character.

*Onikepo Braithwaite in Troubling Questions on Nigeria’s Insecurity Crisis