Mixed reactions have trailed the appointment of new service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement yesterday by Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, ,President Muhammadu Buhari accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.
Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
The new Service Chiefs appointed by the President are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
In a swift reaction, National Secretary Opposition Coalition CUPP, Chief Peter Ameh, said the sack of service chiefs, though a welcome development, was long overdue.
Ameh stressed that the voice of reason have prevailed as the sack of the Service chiefs is a great relief to the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed forces and the Nigerian people as a whole.
He alluded that this will aid the needed re-engineering of our weakened Security Architect due to the over stay of the now sacked Service Chiefs in office.
“Their overstay in office affected the morale of the men of the Armed forces and also affected the growth of capable hands, it was uncalled for, officers who have attained the required and stipulated retirement status both on the grounds of Age and years of service to continue to lead the ever energetic and active members of the Armed forces while their juniors are sent on retirement and promotion for those due are withheld because of the refusal of the President to act as and when due in line with a our constitution.
“Nigeria is never in short supply of officers with intellect, capacity and of those with high merit approval ratings to do the job, No we are never in short supply of them but to see the President keep the now Sacked service Chiefs in office despite the worsening Security situation for so long was a sign of great misjudgement which led to our current predicament. Where government and individuals now pay ransom to bandit to secure the freedom of our fellow citizens..that is the most unfortunate situation and sad experience that has left a sour taste in our mouth as citizens.
According to Tope Fashua, former presidential candidate of Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party, ANRP, said the president has finally budged to the request of the people as Nigerians have been clamouring for a change of the military chiefs for quite a while.
“He’s been static for almost six years. Apart from the need to have a new strategy, there are careers of many officers in the forces that have stalled for the past four years,” he said.
But for the APC Professionals Forum it is a welcome development. Reacting to the development, National Coordinator of APC Professional Forum, Hon. Akeem Akintayo, said knowing that APC as a party campaigned for better security during last elections, the recent security situation in the country needed a new rejigging of our security architecture Nationwide.
Akintayo said, “We are extremely glad that the President had heeded the calls of APC Professionals and well-meaning Nigerians. With this masterstroke, we hope to see a new vigour and energy in the fight against Insurgency and bandits across the country. We further challenge the new hierarchy of the military to proof the President right as they assume their new positions.”
In the view of civil society activist, EZENWA NWAGWU, he said, “It’s important not to miss the point that the new service chiefs are not imported from mass. At best we will have some theatherics that will capture imagination and give impression of shifts and movement
“We are saddled with a rank and file that are motivated by other things than soldiering. The top brass of the services replace themselves with their ‘aje butter” children ,relatives and cronies. While the insecurity indeed insurgency is an industry, if you wish money making venture.
Adding his voice to the development, Public Affairs analyst, Dr. Law Mefor, said the replacement of service chiefs by the President is long overdue.
He said, “The nation has suffered terribly security wise even though this government keeps insisting it has done excellently well in the area of security. Very embarrassing claim if you ask me because Boko Haram terrorism is rather growing and newer fault lines are emerging with the additions of banditry and others.”
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