Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State
*Say those opposition call are agents of Boko Haram
*Insist service chiefs be removed over security situation
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-Elders in the North East have backed the call by the governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum that Nigeria seeks assistance of Chadian soldiers in its war against terrorism.
The elders said in a statement, Friday,that they trusted the Nigerian soldiers in their ability to prosecute the war but lacked the needed leadership to achieve it.
In the statement signed by Engr. Zana Goni as Chairman and Dr Mohammed Misua as Secretary, respectively, the North East Elders insisted that until the leadership of the Nigerian Armed Forces is rejigged, nothing meaningful can be achieved anymore in the ongoing war against insecurity especially terrorism in the country.
The statement tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to respect the position of majority of Nigerians who it noted, were of the firm believe that it was time for a change in the country’s security architecture.
“We wish to remind Mr president that Nigerians voted for him and he needs to listen to them urgently on security issues which we know that the service chiefs are 70% of the problem,” they said.
Noting that Chadian soldiers had recorded remarkable feat in similar war in their country, the North East elders appealed to the president to without delay, heed to the call of the Borno State governor by approving assistance of the Chadian soldiers for further prosecution of the ongoing war against terrorism.
The statement accused those opposing the assistance of the Chadian soldiers as sponsors of terrorism in the country, asking the president to ignore them.
The statement read in full:”We, the entire management and members of Coalition of North East Elders for Peace and Development (CNEEPD) wish to reiterate our call for the immediate sack of the country’s service chiefs who have since lost ideas to transform the fight against insurgents and the nation’s security situation.
“We support the call by our dear Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum that Chadian soldiers should be invited to assist their Nigerian counterparts in the fight against insurgency and terrorism in the country.
This has become necessary given that the strength of the terrorists in Nigerian has risen very high. Besides, the Chadian soldiers are known to have adequately dealt with the threat of this nature. This call is the best thing to have happened to us this year.
“We have high regards for the Nigeria Armed Forces knowing their capabilities and competence, but they obviously lack the needed motivation and zeal to prosecute this war because of low morale and some factors which are caused by the continuous retention of the service chiefs against the wishes of majority of the Nigerian people.
“Those attacking Zulum because of his statement calling for assistance from chad are either agents of Boko Haram or people who benefit from our pains.
“We trust the ability of our soldiers to deliver and still have high confidence in them but the lack the needed leadership that will lead the way to win the war.
“We wish to remind Mr president that Nigerians voted for him and he needs to listen to them urgently on security which we know that the service chiefs are 70% of the problem.
“All of us speaking against the service chiefs do not have personal hatred for them, as a matter of fact two of them are our sons from the North East. But we must put the country first before any other personal interest and consideration.
“The current service chiefs have become obsolete and need to urgently go before we lose our place in the committee of nations.
“It is so shameful for a country of our about 200 million people to be calling on the Republic of Chad with just 16 million people with less than 10 percent of the budget of our defence to help us fight insecurity.
This is very sad, disturbing and shameful but it is the sad reality of where we are and as elders ,we cannot continue to shy away from it.
” Governor Zulum’s call for assistannce of Chadian soldiers is out of frustration as a chief executive of people going through so much agony without remedy despite daily assurances from our military high command.
“Our people are dying in hundreds on a daily basis yet Mr President has refused to act. We are aware that sacking the chiefs may not be the only solution to end insurgency and insecurity but it will immediately restore confidence of the populace on our security architecture and allow free flow of intelligence that may end the war.
” Also,new ideals will come up immediately and even the criminals may go into hiding naturally because they are not familiar with the tactics of the new service chiefs when appointed. In addition, the morale of the fighting officers will be restored immediately.
“Mr president is doing very well but insecurity is fast threatening his government and the nation and it’s time to act.
” These service chiefs are not irreplaceable and do not have monopoly of ideals sir. We are therefore calling on the president to immediately listen to Nigerians by replacing the current service chiefs for better efficiency.
“As we mark our 60th birthday as nation, the only gift Nigerians,particularly people in the North East which is your second home, want from you is to give them security.”