Insecurity: Presidency, Senate Bicker over Sack of Service Chiefs
In a major disagreement over insecurity in the country, the Presidency has rejected the call by the Senate for the removal of Service Chiefs.
The call for the removal of service chiefs by the senate was previously made by the members of the House of Representatives a few months ago. Despite similar calls from several quarters for their sack, President Muhammadu Buhari has kept them in office.
The service chiefs who are all overdue for retirements are Gabriel Olonisakin, chief of defence staff; Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff; Sadique Abubakar, chief of air staff, and Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, chief of naval staff.
The latest confrontational stance was triggered by the resolution of the Senate following a motion sponsored by Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno South and chairman of the committee on the army.
While moving the motion, Ndume expressed worry that over 200 soldiers have resigned from the army and that this could affect the fight against insurgency.
“The Senate notes with concern the number of casualties among the Nigerian army and other security agencies,” he said.
“That 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, 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.
“The Senate 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.”
The upper legislative chamber also asked the federal government to equip the troops with modern weapons.
The motion was adopted after it was put to a voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
In a swift response, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said it is only President Muhammadu who can take a decision on service chiefs.
In a press statement, the presidential spokesperson said said Buhari will do what is best for the country “at all times”.
“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,” Adesina said in a statement.
“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.”