National Security Council meets, keeps mum on call to sack service chiefs
They’re long overdue for sack —Afenifere; They have exhausted their ideas—Ohanaeze
Fresh hands with fresh ideas needed —Yakasai, Ikpomwen; Rejig security system — PANDEF
NASS confirmed Nigeria under siege — CAN; … They’ve over-stayed – ABC Nwosu
Buhari aware and in charge of everything happening in the country — Femi Adesina
By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Soni Daniel, Anayo Okoli, Dapo Akinrefon, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Shina Abubakar, Olayinka Ajayi & Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA — Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere; Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF; founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum and Kano politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakassi; Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, former Provost-Marshal, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Idada Ikponmwen (retd) and Professor ABC Nwosu, yesterday, backed the call by the Senate and House of Representatives for the sack of the service chiefs over rising insecurity in the country.
Also yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari said his administration’s goal of providing a safe and secure nation with policies and programmes that will bring prosperity to the masses is achievable if all Nigerians put their differences aside and work together in the spirit of co-operation.
Meanwhile, despite the recent call by the National Assembly for the removal of Service Chiefs following worsening insecurity in the country, the National Security Council, presided over by President Buhari, yesterday, kept mum on the call.
In another development, Mr Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, yesterday, said the statement by President Buhari on insecurity in the country while hosting some citizens of Niger State on Monday, was misconstrued.
It will be recalled that the House of Representatives, worried over the escalating security situation in the country on Wednesday and asked service chiefs to immediately resign from their offices or be sacked by President Buhari.
The House in a resolution, said the service chiefs have not been able to address the security challenges plaguing the country since 2015 when they were appointed by the President.
On its part also on Wednesday, the Senate called on the President to, as a matter of urgency, sack the service chiefs, contending that they have done their part at the moment, but are out of ideas and have overstayed their welcome.
Nigeria ‘ll be safe if Nigerians put differences aside – Buhari
President Buhari when the 2019 National Productivity Order of Merit, NPOM, Awardees, paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the task of nation building was an enormous one.
He said citizens must endeavor to become more productive, adding that it was only through increased productivity that a big and prosperous economy can be created.
He said: “I am delighted to welcome the recipients of the 2019 National Productivity Order of Merit Award to State House. I was unable to personally attend and confer the awards on you individually.
“The National Productivity Order of Merit is one of the highest honours our nation confers on its citizens. The process of selection is strictly based on merit. We shall continue to preserve this process to sustain the integrity and values of this great tradition.
“2019 awardees are diverse and outstanding. We have captains of Industry, technocrats, public servants, media practitioners, security officials and many more. Your tangible contributions towards protecting, developing and enhancing our country and its citizens are your lasting legacy.”
They have exhausted their ideas — Ohanaeze
Publicity Secretary of the Igbo apex body, Ohanaeze, Prince Uche Achi-Ogbaga, said when the President himself was reported to have been shocked at the level of insecurity, there was no need reminding him to do the needful by changing the service chiefs as they may have exhausted their ideas.
Achi-Ogbaga said there is an urgent need to engage people with new ideas to tackle the security crisis in Nigeria.
“You see, the concern crept from the corresponding media reports to the effect that the President is himself shocked at the level of banditry or insecurity in the country. One would wonder because if the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is in shock, then defenceless Nigerians should be in coma.
“If after five years at the helm of affairs of Nigeria as President, all he could offer is to still express shock, one should be able to say that he has no solution to the threat without being controverted by any rational and apolitical mind.
“Recall that the government has demonstrated at many fora that Boko Haram has been defeated. Today, Boko Haram is still attacking ferociously, killing innocent and defenceless citizens and more.
“Other deadly criminal outfits, including dare-devil, kidnapping and massacre infested herdsmen, are springing up here and there. The implication is that the government is not living up to its responsibility of safeguarding the lives and property of its citizens because nothing is more precious than life and if not given priority of protection, everything is lost.”
They’re long overdue for sack—Afenifere
In its reaction, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, said the service chiefs are long overdue for sack, adding that they are stumbling blocks to career rises of other officers.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odunmakin said: “If records are anything to go by, we should expect nothing from this than the hollow rituals. The only pleasant surprise we can get is a sack of the service chiefs. They are long overdue for sack for their ineffectiveness and constituting themselves into stumbling blocks to career rises of other officers.”
We need to rejig security architecture — PANDEF
National Publicity Secretary of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Sara-Igbe, who insisted that his comments were personal, said: “Mr. President should listen to the voice of the people by reorganizing the security architecture of country.
“The time has come when the entire country expects new ideas, philosophy and method in the fight against insurgency in the country.
“It is our hope that the meeting between the security chiefs and Mr. President will bring in fresh hope and clear directions on how best the country will strategize to overcome the present insecurity situation in the country,” he said.
We need fresh hands with fresh ideas — Tanko Yakassai
Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has counseled President Muhammadu to drop his service chiefs and appoint new ones as a matter of urgency.
He said: “TPresident Buhari was elected by Nigerians and he should listen to them by dropping the service chiefs, who have since reached retirement age in the military and appoint new ones with fresh ideas to do the job for which we elected him to do.
“The president’s idea about insecurity has proved inadequate to deal with the threat to our lives, property and he should urgently change tactics and personnel in order to win the war against rising threats to the lives of Nigerians.
“From what we have seen so far, he has not been able to solve the security problem staring the nation on its face and should seek new hands to help him do the job,” he added.
NASS has confirmed Nigeria is under siege – CAN
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has aligned with the call by the National Assembly for the immediate removal of the service chiefs, saying the federal lawmakers have confirmed that the country is under siege.
Kwamkur Vondip, CAN’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs, said: “The statement by the National Assembly confirms that fact that something is wrong with the nation.
“Unlike the abusive stance of those in the Presidency, the National Assembly has come to terms with the reality Nigerians face on a daily basis.
“We know the current leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives were handpicked by the Presidency but because the lawmakers were elected by the people to legislate on their behalf, their consciences did not let them shy away from speaking truth to power on the need to sack the service chiefs for obvious reasons.
“But, in all, the call by the National Assembly also confirms what the Church has been saying concerning the state of insecurity that needs urgent attention.
“We suspect that the Federal Government either has its hands soiled in the worsening security situation or is bereft of ideas and solutions for tackling the security challenges facing Nigerians.
“But it is a shame that the Presidency has not accepted the fact that it needs to act fast and be open to help from the international community towards tackling insecurity.
“The National Assembly have also confirm the fact that some of the Service Chiefs have overstayed in office. Some of them are due to retire, but you can see he is not even ready to let them go.
“The Federal Government should only reward those doing well but the President commends them for job well done but Nigerians are not feeling the impact of their work.”
Service chiefs should go for new blood to be injected – Gen Ikponmwen (retd)
Former Provost-Marshal, Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Idada Ikponmwen (retd), said the nation’s security system has failed and the service chiefs should go for new blood to be injected.
Brig Gen Ikponmwen (retd) said: “If the security system has failed, it means the leaders have failed, they do not deserve to stay longer. I am inclined therefore, to flow with those who say that a failed system has to be administered with the right remedies to get well.
“I am not however, blaming the service chiefs alone, they cannot operate outside their environment. Clearly, the Nigerian system has failed, the security has failed, the executive arm has failed, the judiciary has failed, all have failed.
“But there is need to take the bull by the horns and change the status quo, the way things are done have to be drastically changed, otherwise, in the system, there are rules and regulations on retirement and disengagement of service chiefs based on length of service, age and all that,” he added.
They should go — militant leader
Also, leader of the 21st Century Youth for Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience, self styled “General” Izon Ebi told Vanguard: “The service chiefs should excuse themselves honorably since they are bereft of ideas. They have a lot to tell Nigerians because they are funded with taxpayers’ money to protect lives and property of all Nigerians. They must account for the $1 billion budgeted for fighting insurgents. The slaughtering of Nigerians on daily basis is unacceptable. The killing of one of their own, Alex Badeh, like a common criminal is sad.
“I think they should not only be sacked but prosecuted because it has not been so bad like this, that even a former President is not spared. The Nigerian security situation is so embarrassing because it is all over the nation — from Fulani herdsmen to banditry, kidnappings and sea piracy — all over. As for us, we think the presidency have a lot to tell Nigerians if truly Buhari is in charge.
Sack politicians, not service chiefs, says Igbini
“There are more that Nigerians do not know. The 21st century youths of the Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience are in support of the call by the National Assembly for the sack of the security chiefs if they refuse to resign honorably,” he stated.
However, national president, Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy, VATLAD, Mr Emmanuel Igbini, said: “Let me unequivocally state that though I am also very unhappy with the increasing state of security breakdown across our country. I strongly condemn the outburst of many of Nigerian politicians now demanding the sack of the service chiefs of our military, as if they are reasonable for this worsening situation.
“Truth be told, this incumbent Chiefs of Army and Naval Staff are the best in our recent history.
“Many of our unpatriotic politicians who in their desperation, recruit, train and arm our youths with weapons of mass destruction to kill and destroy before, during and after our general elections are the real enemies of our country and the ones, who should be sacked immediately.”
They have over stayed – ABC Nwosu
Aligning with the resignation call, former political adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and also a former Minister of Health, Professor ABC Nwosu, said “So far, the state of security is obviously not well. If the service chiefs need to be sacked to get the desired result, so be it.
“But it does make sense to me and any person who is normal ought to know that they have over stayed and the situation is getting worse. Even in corporate governance, the people who are in charge when the company is not doing well know that they ought to leave so that you try new hands.
“I think the only people who don’t know that they should go are the service chiefs as the rest of the country thinks they should leave, including myself. When a system or an objective has failed, all those leading the attainment of failed system should take a back seat quietly. It should not be even discussed but these have been discussed over the year and that is the major reason we are having system failure.”
National Security council keeps mum over call to sack Service Chiefs
Arising from the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the National Security Adviser, Gen Babagana Monguno (retd), said the council had resolved to tackle the security crisis across the country by bringing all Nigerians along in the journey to finding solutions.
Monguno who was flanked by the Ministers of Defence, Police Affairs, Interior, Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the DSS, said the kind of solution being sought would not only serve the Federal Government, but states and local governments.
His words: “We just concluded a meeting of the National Security Council. The National Security Council is the highest security body in the country, chaired by the President. We normally hold these meetings on a quarterly basis and this is the first in the year.
“We scheduled this meeting for this (yesterday) morning and the meeting basically made an appraisal of the current security situation in the country and took a look at the possibilities there are opportunities available to government in addressing most of the recent challenges.
“There were discussions and at the end of the day, the most important thing that we came up with is the need for collaboration between governmental agencies and the larger Nigerian society because of the type of the insurgencies we are faced with, the complexities, the multiplicity of all kind of issues.
“There is a need for both parties, governmental agencies on one hand and the larger society, to collaborate more vigorously. There is a need for us to deal with these problems in a comprehensive manner.
“Therefore, council has decided to take a closer look at issues that will help us, not just at the federal level or at the state level, but right down to the local government level. But this is going to be done after due consultations with the relevant stakeholders,” he said.
Asked if the council gave attention to the Senate and House of Representatives’ call for the sack of service chiefs, Monguno said “the issue of the National Assembly resolution did not come up at the meeting.”
Asked to give a perspective to the nature of the security crisis the country currently faces, the security chief said: “The major challenges are multi-dimensional in terms of security; challenges are both internal, external and defence-related as well as diplomatic as well as economic. So you will begin to appreciate the extent to which we need to work.
“These major challenges — every ministry, department and agency is aware of the aspect it has to deal with — and I am sure yesterday, after the Federal Executive Council meeting, you are aware the minister of works talked about his own area, likewise other ministries, departments and agencies are working.
“The issue of security in the context of the 21st century is not an issue of just arms and ammunition or robbers and gangsters, it’s a multiple situation, the canvas is very expansive and we are looking at it in a comprehensive manner.
“The challenges all of us are aware of and that is why in a nutshell, I said, there is a need for this government and the larger society to work together to find a solution to this problem.
“No one is oblivious of the enormity of the problem at hand. Government is aware and that is why we had this meeting at the highest level,” he said.
Those in attendance were Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; Minister of Defence Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd); Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; the NSA, Maj. Gen. Monguno (retd) and the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi.
Service chiefs in attendance include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar; Inspector-General of Police, Adamu; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ahmed Abubakar; and the Director-General of the Directorate of State Services, DSS, Yusuf Bichi.
Buhari aware, in charge of everything happening in the country — Femi Adesina
Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, has said that the statement by President Muhammadu Buhari on insecurity in the country was misconstrued.
It will be recalled that while hosting some citizens of Niger state on Monday, the president had said he was taken aback by the new manifestations of insecurity in the North-West.
But in a statement, yesterday, Adesina said the president did not say he was unaware of the security challenges in the country.
According to him, what Buhari meant was that he was surprised about the emergence of banditry in the North-West, a region “almost homogeneous, made up of Hausa-Fulani and largely Muslim.”
He said, “The reportage of the statement above was slanted to mean that President Buhari said he was unaware of the security challenges in some parts of the country. Far from it, except to the mischievous mind. The President is fully aware and fully in charge of all that is going on.
Adesina further said that the president’s point was that insecurity in the country is birthed by “evil plan,” not ethnicity or religion.
He warned that deliberate misrepresentation of the president’s words would hurt the country.
“The point he made was that what is happening in the country is not about ethnicity or religion, it is plainly an evil plan against the nation.
“It is disingenuous that the earlier and latter parts of the statement were downplayed, and the middle part misinterpreted to mean that President Buhari was unaware or surprised by the security situation in the country.
“It is all about our country, and deliberately misrepresenting the President hurts not just the country, but the mischief makers themselves, ultimately.”