Due to daily reports and challenges of insecurities all over the country, especially as witnessed in series of robbery attacks and violence caused by hoodlums, herdsmen, Boko-haram terrorist group as well as killings by Insurgents and kidnappers, many well-meaning Nigerians and session of political leadership have beckoned on the presidency to begin to hold people responsible for ineffectiveness in carrying out their respective responsibilities.
Notable amongst other leadership who had constantly failed to deliver and yield positive results is the office of the service chiefs whose position has come under serious criticism over the years especially as a result of its inability to curb and put an end to the security challenges faced by citizens of the federation.
As a follow up to all the criticism levelled against the office of the service chiefs there’s been also many clarion calls by both citizens and some leaders to sack the service chiefs and replace them with much more willing and capable hands.
However, Garba shehu, the presidential spokesperson, has refused to be convinced about all the allegations and criticism directed at the president and the service chiefs and in fact claims that the number one citizen of the federation President Muhammadu Buhari has not succumbed to calls for the sack of the service chiefs because he sees what Nigerians do not see.
This statement by the presidential spokesperson, was made during an interview on a Television Continental (TVC) programme on Sunday.
Recalled that in 2020 alone, Nigeria witnessed a spike in killings by Boko Haram insurgents, bandits and kidnappers. This led to desperate cries and massive complaints of citizens on social media platforms, news outlets and even some politicians against the Buhari led administration urging them to look for means and measures to address the situation. The national assembly on at least four occasions asked the president to sack the service chiefs for poor performance.
Furthermore, stakeholders such as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) also waded into the discussion and challenges on insecurity and suggested that the military is overwhelmed and needs fresh ideas to stop the killings.
But the presidency has instead insisted that the service chiefs will remain in office for as long as Buhari is satisfied with their performance.
Thus, commenting during the TV programme, Shehu said the chief of army staff and his colleagues serve at the pleasure of the president who has not sacked them because “he is seeing things that critics are not seeing”.
“It is because he is seeing things that critics are not seeing. He is seeing things most people don’t see,” he said in response to why the security heads are still in office.
“It is not a tenured appointment. There is no part of the law that says chief of army staff must serve for two years. Then, after two years, he must go.
“He serves at the pleasure of the president. Now, the president has said again he will make changes. When will he make those changes? It is entirely up to him. I think Nigerians should give him the benefit of the doubt.”
He added that the Buhari administration has not been able to solve the country’s security challenges because the problems are “mutating”.
“This country has always been challenged by issues of insecurity. No country is crime-free,” he said, adding: “The challenges are mutating … but all hands are now on deck.
“From the resolutions we are seeing particularly from the president, 2021 is going to be very decisive in dealing with Boko Haram, banditry, and kidnapping.”
Gift Joseph Okpakorese