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Fani-Kayode insists on sack of service chiefs over insecurity

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
11 July 2022   |   2:40 am
Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, yesterday, insisted immediate sack of the country’s service chiefs remains the solution to worsening insecurity.

Fani-Kayode

ormer Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, yesterday, insisted immediate sack of the country’s service chiefs remains the solution to worsening insecurity.

Fani-Kayode, who was responding to Defence Headquarters’ reaction to a video he produced, criticising the military for complicity in the recent attack on Kuje Custodial Centre, Abuja, maintained that the chiefs lack moral latitude to remain in office.

The Headquarters had, among other things, said: “This is indeed a difficult time for the Armed Forces of Nigeria and Nigerians as a whole. It is not time for attention-seeking individuals to cause needless distractions. Members of the public are, therefore, urged to ignore Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode and continue to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities promptly to law enforcement agencies.”

A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Fani-Kayode, however, said no amount of intimidation would force him to remain quiet in the face of “poor and disgusting” performance by the chiefs.

He said: “Given the fact that they have refused to do this, I once again call on President Muhammadu Buhari, as I did in my video, to retire them and appoint service chiefs that can do the job properly and meet the expectations of Nigerians.

“For this, I offer no apology, and I stand by everything that I said in that video, including the assertion that the leadership and rank and file of the Department of State Services, National Intelligence Agency and Nigeria Police Force have continued to give necessary intelligence, confront and tackle the terrorists and do their job as best as they can. But the military high command has not.

“Others may be intimidated and compelled to remain silent but I will not. Numerous governors, including the governor of Zamfara State, have publicly and privately called for Nigerians to arm themselves while others, like the governors of Kaduna and Niger, have called for greater efforts on the part of the military to seek out, uproot and confront the terrorists.

“Others, like the governor of Ondo State and indeed all the governors of the southwest, have gone as far as to demand that states and zones have their own armed militias and police because you have not been able to protect the people.

“Such is the level of angst and anger in the land and it is, essentially, a referendum on your performance. If all was well, not one of these respected individuals or anyone else has cause to complain or demand more from you. Instead of rectifying the situation, the only thing you can do is issue a press statement telling me not to complain? Do we not have the right to call a spade a spade?

“This is especially so when lives are involved and so many have been lost. Should we suffer this indignity and pain in silence? Are these incessant attacks and slaughter of innocent people not a disgrace to our nation and to our Armed Forces?

“Have we lost all sense of pride, dignity and self respect that our soldiers and civilians are being killed and kidnapped by motorcycle-riding rag-tag bandits and we should just remain silent? Can we not tell you when we are tired, fed up and have had enough of your failures? Instead of showing remorse and assuring us that you will do better in the future, you issue angry and insolent press statements in an attempt to silence and intimidate.

“The truth is you have simply put salt in our wounds and added insult to injuries. And whether you like it or not, I, and millions of others, will continue to point out the failures of our military high command without fear or favour because they are meant to work for us.

“We do not work for them. Rather we pay and maintain them with taxpayers’ money and they do not pay or maintain us. They cannot impose a culture of silence on us and neither will we accept it.”