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Calls for sack of Service Chiefs and ‘Vox populi, Vox dei’

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Insecurity in Nigeria has undoubtedly, reached an alarming peak. It’s an incontrovertible fact that citizens are worried given the way and manner that insurgents have subjected Nigerians to wanton destruction of lives and properties at a large scale. Specifically, the domineering Boko Haram insurgents in North Eastern Nigeria in barely seven years has left the zone devastating.

Government’s solution to curbing the menace of Boko Haram in the last ten years has been defied, thereby leaving not only the North East region, but almost the entire northern states in distraught.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s ascendancy to Aso Rock Villa as the President and Commander-in-Chief in 2015 was a people’s reaction to the overwhelming insecurity at the time.

It was the first time in the history of Nigeria that a religious sect – Boko Haram insurgents were taking on the government through guerilla warfare. In that, the former President Goodluck Jonathan was successfully rattled and stucked on what to do. The damning security situation in the country during his time sent ‘jitters down the spine of his administration’; generated mistrust in government circles and the electorate picked it up from there which they exited him at the opportune time in 2015 Presidential election to pave way for President Muhammadu Buhari.

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However, expectations of Nigerians plummets five years after as insecurity continue to surge with members of the National Assembly championing calls for President Muhammadu Buhari to remove all the Service Chiefs from office.

The Upper and Lower legislative Chambers were unanimous that all the Service Chiefs have outlived their usefulness in office.

Lawmakers submitted that the inability to bring insurgents to their kneels was largely caused by the inefficiency of the Service Chiefs. Interestingly, submissions of Parliamentarians intersected party lines, suggesting that government was daily failing to protect lives and properties at a matter of statutory responsibility.

Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC) raised a motion on the “Urgent Need to Curb the Incessant Attacks of the Boko Haram insurgents in North East”, last week urged President Muhammadu Buhari to remove all the Service Chiefs and bring in fresh hands with fresh ideas to curbing the insecurity in Nigeria.

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In support of the motion, Abubakar Fulata (APC, Jigawa) lent his support owing to the growing insecurity, stating that the continued stay of Service Chiefs was the reason for inefficiency within the security circles in tackling insurgency in Nigeria.

Not alone in calls for the resignation of Service Chiefs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia), at the plenary in the Senate last week, insisted that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) came into power to tackle insecurity. He said: “Electorate did not elect Mr. President’s Chief of Staff, Nigerians did not elect Service Chiefs, but they elected President Muhammadu Buhari to protect them.

“We are not looking at those people, but the head of government, so, those who live by propaganda shall die by propaganda. President Muhammadu Buhari has failed and he should resign.”

Abaribe’s call for resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari was precipitated by the motion sponsored by the Senate leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC) who also maintained that President Buhari need to overhaul the nation’s security architecture.

As has been said, “Vox populi, Vox dei”, even Security experts and political pundits have been unanimous that the change of security Chiefs was most needed at this time. If the proverbial “Voice of the people is the Voice of God, why can’t the Service Chiefs be exited out of office to pave way for fresh hands?

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Posterity awaits the APC government as it listen to the voice of people in taking popular decision that would reduce the level of insecurity in Nigeria.

Over the few years of existence of Boko Haram, other Islamic sects like ISWAP and Ansaru have been created and are actively operating in Nigeria. Their formation as criminal gangs was nonetheless emboldened by the kid gloves handling of Boko Haram insurgents.

Unfortunately, one cannot continue to do something, the same way, over and over, and expect different results. Casualties of human and properties due to insurgency and banditry attacks are monumental with a disheartening number three ranking of Nigeria as a terrorist nation behind Yemen and Afghanistan. This is sad!

Atek’ojo Samson Usman is a journalist and writes from Abuja

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