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Why Buhari should consider South East for new COAS, by Ohanaeze

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Ohanaeze Ndigbo has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the South-East geopolitical zone in the appointment of new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), following the passing of Ibrahim Attahiru, who occupied the post until his demise.

In a statement yesterday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, the Ohanaeze faction described the inclusion of the South East in the security council as the best option.

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The Secretary-General of the Igbo social-cultural group, Okechukwu Isiguzoro, urged Buhari to use this opportunity to appoint a south-easterner as the new COAS to correct the imbalance in the appointment of service chiefs.

According to him, though it is the President’s prerogative to replace the late army chief with any officer of his choice, Buhari must focus on competence and nationalism, in accordance with the tenets of Federal Character, adding that omission of the South East in the security architecture is a tragic disappointment.

The statement read in part: “We are not lobbying for a South-East officer as a replacement for the late COAS, but we are drawing the attention of President Buhari to evaluate the privileges of being unpredictable and reversing the wrong suspicions that he is biased against southern Nigeria leading the army.

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“Every geopolitical zone should be represented in the security council to boost national integration and restoration of confidence among other Nigerians that the President belongs to nobody but everyone.”

He added that Buhari’s disappointment of those who see him as north-centric would energise every Nigerian to partake in the fight against security challenges in the country.

“We are convinced that only a south-easterner will swish the magic wand to disassemble all the unpatriotic coalitions reaping from the budgetary allocation mapped out for security purposes by recycling insurgency.

“We are unmistakable that the northern cartel is the major beneficiaries of the insecurity and rebellion. If Buhari is determined to end the security challenges confronting the nation, he should break the spell and terrify those immoral elements pressurising him to undermine the south and re-appoint another northerner as COAS. Definitely, the promising direction to re-assert himself as the people’s President is for him to ordain a southern COAS,” he added.

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