Nigeria: Again, Senate Asks Buhari to Sack Service Chiefs

The Nigerian Senate
1 December 2020

This is the third time the Senate will ask the president to sack the Service Chiefs who, they said, are bereft of new ideas to tackle insurgency.

The Senate has, again, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately initiate a way to phase out the current Service Chiefs and replace them with new ones with fresh ideas and solutions.

This was one of the many resolutions that the lawmakers adopted in a nearly hour-long deliberation on insecurity across the country and the recent killing of 43 farmers in Borno State.

PREMIUM TIMES reported Saturday's mass killing of rice farmers in Zabarmari community in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.

The victims were buried on Sunday and a delegation of the federal government led by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, paid a condolence visit to the state on Monday.

The Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, has listed out six key recommendations to the federal government - one of which is the recruitment of foreign mercenaries to help in ending the Boko Haram war.

This is the third time that the Senate will ask the president to sack the Service Chiefs who they said are bereft of new ideas to tackle insurgency.

In January, they called for the sack the service chiefs. A similar call was made in July. The resolutions on both occasions were borne from debates on insecurity.

The debate

The debate was led by Kasim Shettima who presented a motion on the recent killings on Borno State.

He said the Nigerian military in conjunction with other security agencies have not been able to quell the insurgency affecting the region in spite the slogan by government officials that the insurgents have been technically defeated.

The primary objective of the government is the protection of its citizens. Protecting the lives and property of citizens is the primary obligation of government, he said.

During the lengthy deliberation, lawmakers took turns to condemn Saturday's massacre as well as other killings in the country.

While some praised the president for doing his best, a few others said his best was not good enough. Some lawmakers also called for more funding for the Nigerian military.

Ali Ndume, in his contribution, disclosed that army personnel at the war front still share weapons among themselves.

He said if the Nigerian government is serious about ending insecurity, it will end on six months - making reference to the involvement of the Chadian president in the battle against insurgents months ago.

The lawmaker also said the service chiefs should "get out" if they have no solution to the question of insecurity.

He, therefore, urged the federal government to partner with foreign bodies to help tackle the menace. He also asked that families of victims of insurgency be compensated for its failure to provide security.

Katsina senator, Babba Kaita, said while the president is doing his best, "his best is not good enough if residents cannot see the result on ground."

He also called for an investigation into how the funds allocated to the military is being spent.

Adamu Aliero tackled the president for sending a delegation to Borno State instead of going there himself. He also said the current service chiefs have "outlived their usefulness."

While Opeyemi Bamidele decried the repetition of resolutions in the Senate.

"The only new thing we are saying here is that more people have be killed in a very gruesome manner. I will urge us to stand on existing resolutions.

"It is time for Buhari to let the service chiefs go. They have done their best but they need to go. If he cannot remove them, he should constitute an advisory committee and put them there. They will still be advising him.

"If he won't let them go, we call on them, in overriding public interest, to resign."

He further said before the budget is passed, Mr Buhari should either address the National Assembly on his plans for insecurity or the National Assembly holds a joint session public hearing on the issue.

The lawmakers thereafter urged the president to take immediate steps to restructure, remodel the country's security architecture and provide enough state-of-the-art weapons and equipment to effectively combat the insurgents.

They also asked Mr Buhari to immediately a probe into widespread allegations and leakages within the security structure and put a mechanism in place to foster transparency and ensure all resources deployed for security are spent on the needs on the ground.

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