Northern elders have warned that the continued retention of Service Chiefs many years after the expiration of their retirement date was not only unconstitutional but could weaken the morale of military personnel and the front line troops.
The Coalition of North East Elders for Peace and Development in a statement signed by its national coordinator, Zana Goni, say the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari to yield to the desires of Nigerians by announcing the removal of service chiefs in his new year message was tantamount to downplaying the insecurity in the country.
The elders asked Buhari to give a New Year’s gift of fresh security chiefs to Nigerians and to do so in line with the country’s federal character principle.
The coalition also warned that the appointment of almost only Northerners as managers of Nigeria’s security architecture was morally and constitutionally wrong and may have emboldened criminals and bandits.
The elders explained that trying different hands in the country’s security will not only bring back the high morale of personnel but also return their zeal and vigour to protect Nigeria, in addition to career development in the military.
“At the moment, the most important thing for every Nigerian is security. They want their lives to be protected first. The National Assembly has since understood this and that is why as representatives of the people, they have called for more robust, efficient and effective security management for the country.
“We still stand by the position of the National Assembly where members unanimously resolved that the security chiefs be relieved of their positions to pave way for not only fresh hands but also fresh ideas in our security management strategies.”
“Sacking the current chiefs and subsequently replacing them with new ones will automatically change the game of insecurity as the morale of fighting officers will be boosted, new strategies will be launched, besides the flow of intelligence information among the security agencies.”
The group, however, warned that overhauling the nation’s security management team, without increasing the defence budget will undermine all efforts to improve security.
The elders urged the government to provide a robust budget funding for the security sector, to enable the military have access to necessary tools to stand taller than their violent adversaries.
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