Tuesday, December 1, 2020 4:51 pm
By Nehru Odeh
The Nigerian Senate has for the umpteenth time called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs. This was the decision arrived at Tuesday Plenary Session of the Senate, following a motion by Senator Kashim Shettima on the recent killing of over 43 rice farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents
According to the senate, it is high time the president fired the service chiefs because the primary responsibility of government is to protect lives of the citizens, and as the Commander in Chief, if there is failure on the part of the military, it means he is not doing his job.
This resolution, it seems has put the senate and the presidency on a collision course, as Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, said on Monday on Arise TV that calls for the sack of the service chiefs are “out of place.” He also said the service chiefs will remain in office as long as the president is satisfied with their performance.
“I am not aware that the tenure of service chiefs is subject to any law or regulation that is clearly stated. They serve at the pleasure of the president,” he said.
“If the president is satisfied with their performance, he keeps them. And the buck stops on his table with all due respect to the feelings of Nigerians.
“The clamour for the sack if out of place considering that the president is not subject to the opinion of the opposition political party which has clamoured for this all the time,” adding that “the buck stops at his table —with due respect to the feelings of Nigerians.”
However, the senate, which also charged that the president ought to have paid a condolence visit to the families of the victims also asked him to initiate a transition process of easing out the security chiefs and replacing them with new ones, adding that they have outlived their usefulness.
“Urge the President to take immediate steps to restructure, remodel and revamp the country’s entire security architecture and provide enough state-of-the-art weapons and equipment to effectively combat the belligerent power of the insurgents;
“Urge the President to immediately initiate probe into widespread allegations of corruption and leakages within the security structure and put mechanisms in place to foster transparency and ensure all resources meant and deployed for security are actually spent on the needs on ground;
“Impress on the Federal Government to aggressively explore multilateral and bilateral options of partnership with the neighboring nations of Chad, Niger and Cameroon towards reviving and strengthening the Multinational Joint Task Force and finding a lasting solution to the insurgency to the scourge of insurgency in the Lake Chad region;
“Impress on the Federal Government as a matter of urgency, recruit at least 10,000 civilian JTF, versatile with the local terrain in Borno as Agro-Rangers under the aegis of the NCDSC to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Armed forces; and
“Direct NEMA, NEDC and Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to compensate the families of the 67 that were killed in this incident, and provide succor and psychological support to the bereaved families;
“Impress on the Federal Government to provide proper welfare for security personnel fighting in the frontlines and give prime attention to the compensation and welfare of fallen soldiers as that would boost the soldiers morale and aid their concentration.