Insecurity:Sack Your Service Chiefs Now Senate Tells Buhari

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The Senate, yesterday, called for the sack of the country’s service chiefs.

This followed a resolution adopted by the lawmakers after considering a motion by Mohammed Ali Ndume where he gave a chilling account of activities of bandits and Boko Haram terrorists in the North and also offered insight into how the country was losing several of its soldiers in combat to terrorists.

Ndume, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, had told the lawmakers of the dire situation in Borno and other states in the North, saying in the last few days, scores of soldiers had been killed while several others were declared missing by army authorities

“Just recently, 24 soldiers were ambushed and killed along Maiduguri-Damboa road in Borno State, 19 were wounded and nine were declared missing in action. In Katsina, soldiers were also ambushed and killed, while several others were wounded and the number of casualties is not known. The Senate appreciates the sacrifice of our armed forces in the fight against the insurgency and banditry and protection of territorial integrity and several other security assignments given to them, but is concerned that if the trend continues, it would have serious implications on the fight against insurgency, banditry. It has been alleged that over 200 soldiers voluntarily resigned their engagement or appointment with the Nigerian Army,” said Ndume.

Ibrahim Gobir from Sokoto State, in his contribution, said the lack of coordination among the military was a major setback in the fight against banditry and insurgency.

Accordinfg to him, it was the lack of coordination and cooperation that recently led to terrorists re-taking 13 villages hitherto recovered by the military. He said a local government headquarter was also being occupied by bandits.

Leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi, said several reports had been submitted to the executive but lamented that no action was taken, even as he called for a change of tactics by the military.

Former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, while lamenting the frequent loss of lives to insurgents said the apathy in the military to the fight against terrorists was a dangerous sign. He said the primary responsibility of government remains the protection of lives and property and urged the government to take charge and safeguard the lives of Nigerians.

The Senate, thereafter, constituted a joint committee to receive briefing on the state of affairs of the services to determine the next line of action.The committee is comprised of members from Defence, Army, Air Force, Navy, National Security, Nigeria Police and Interior. The defence committee will lead the interface and is expected to report back within four weeks weeks.

However, in a swift reaction, the Presidency told the lawmakers that appointment or sack of security chiefs is the prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, “The Senate Tuesday adopted a resolution calling on the Service Chiefs to resign or be sacked due to the multi-pronged security challenges in the country.

“The Presidency notes the resolution, and reiterates that appointment or sack of Service Chiefs is a Presidential prerogative, and President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, will do what is in the best interest of the country at all times.”

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