The Nigerian Senate has again called on President Muhamadu Buhari to
sack all Service Chiefs due to their failure to ensure adequate security
in the country.
The resolution of the senate was a sequel to a motion sponsored by
Kashim Shettima, Senator representing Borno Central.
Shettima drew the attention of senators to the killing of over 45
farmers at Kwashabe village, about 20 kilometres north of Maiduguri,
The upper legislative chamber also asked the Nigerian government to
equip the troops with modern weapons.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff,
General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar
and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Marshal Ibok- Ete Ibas are all overdue
for retirement, critics of the government say.
Despite calls for their sack, President Buhari has kept them in office.
But Presidential Spokesman Garba Shehu said the Service Chiefs serves at
the pleasure of the President and if he is satisfied with them, he can
keep them as long as he wants.
According to Shehu, “I am not aware that the tenure of service chiefs is
subjected to any law or regulation that is clearly stated. They serve at
the pleasure of the president and (if) the president is satisfied with
their performance, he keeps them. The buck stops at his table —with due
respect to the feelings of Nigerians.
“The clamour for the sack is out of place considering that the president
is not subject to the opinion of opposition political party which has
clamoured for this all the time. It is entirely his determination; he
decides who he keeps as his service chiefs and for how long.”
Boko Haram was reported to have first tied up the farmers, who were
working in rice fields, before slitting their throats.
Shehu had said the farmers had no military clearance to be on the rice
farms when the attack happened.
His reaction was greeted by outrage on social media as many Nigerians
lambasted him for blaming the dead.
Explaining further last night, Shehu said, “My suggestion in the earlier
news report is that the military had not certified those areas as being
free of landmines and terrorists’ intrusions. Whether there are
processes for getting licences or commissions, it is not for me; the
military is in a better position to describe those processes.”