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Service chiefs: Why Buhari should listen to the Senate

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If President Muhammadu Buhari’s reasons for keeping the service chiefs whom he was supposed to have replaced overdue tenure, were because they were doing well in the fight against terrorism, neither the Senate nor Nigerians would be asking him to sack them.

Besides, it’s often said that one good turn deserves another. But reserve is the case as they’re underperforming. Civilians and soldiers are being killed every day by men of the underworld (Boko Haram), and other defiant sects. There are no sanctuaries in the country again.

Churches, schools and mosques are not safe as they’re being invaded by terrorists. Some Nigerians in the North are seen fleeing to neighbouring countries to seek refuge. Soldiers who are supposed to be at the war front are tugging their khakis and resigning over lack of motivations from the service chiefs. There are limited weapons in supply.

Recently, over 200 experienced soldiers were reported to have resigned. The Nigerian Army would later debunk it, but investigative efforts by some media put paid to the position of the military authorities. Besides the recent news of resignation of over 200 soldiers, there were periods our media were pervaded with the videos in which some Nigerian soldiers were cussing and blasting Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, for not supplying them the needed weapons and ammunition to combat the Boko Haram terrorists. Most of these videos were made in the Sambisa forest.

The soldiers who made the videos would later bite their fingers as they were dealt with. General Olusegun Adeniyi would never forget what befell him few days after he appeared in a viral video where he asked the Nigerian Army to empower his team with the necessary weapons he mentioned. Another soldier that was dealt with was Lance Corporal Martins who indicted and cussed Buratai in a viral video. They’re not getting what they need and they mustn’t complain. However, if these service chiefs are not supplanted in this critical times as the Senate proposed on Tuesday, there is no way we can win the war against Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.

A retired sergeant, Mike Omorege, had said the same thing few months ago. Hear him: “If they want the war to end, let them remove the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, bring in a neutral person that is not up to their rank and tell the person that when you succeed, I’m going to promote you, that person will deliver.” 

In response to the Senate’s call, however, President Muhammadu Buhari through his media aide, Mr. Femi Adeshina, said it is his prerogative to sack or replace service chiefs. Of course, it’s duty to protect every Nigerian citizen rights and property which are being terrorised by men of the underworld too. Therefore, that’s why Buhari should replace the under performing service chiefs now.

Aremu Lukman Umor , a sociologist, wrote from Lagos.


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