- There is immense pressure on President Buhari to sack Nigeria's security chiefs over killings across the country
- Many groups and prominent individuals in the country say it is time to rejig Nigeria's security architecture
- One of the groups have vowed to drag the federal government to the International Criminal Court at The Hague over insecurity in the country
President Muhammadu Buhari is facing growing pressure to sack his security chiefs over indiscriminate killings across the country.
Many groups and prominent individuals in the country say it is time to rejig Nigeria's security architecture as the killings continue in some parts of the nation.
On of the groups, Good Governance Initiative (GGI), on Sunday, July 1, took its view even a notch further by asking the president to resign.
“What is happening now will be a child’s play, if the APC returns to power in 2019," GGI president, Nnosike Nwosu, warned.
Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) also backed calls for the sacking of the security chiefs, accusing the officers of incompetence and complicity in the killing of innocent Nigerians in a statement sent to journalists last weekend.
He added that it was high time the “insecurity chiefs” became alive to their duties or were relieved of their posts.
The Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) has also declared its resolve to take President Buhari to the International Criminal Court at The Hague over insecurity in the country.
In a communiqué, the group stated: “We have also resolved to drag the heads of the various security organisations before the court as well. We have discovered that the leaderships of the various security organisations such as the Nigerian Army, the Police and the Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) have been providing security cover for these criminals.
“How on earth can one justify the recent killings in Plateau state where the marauders operated unhindered for about eight hours without any form of resistance from security personnel?"
The Christian Association of Nigerian Americans (CANAN), on its part, asked: “What relevance is the intelligence gathering by the Department of State Services (DSS) and other security agencies, if communities can be attacked and hundreds slaughte*ed without security organisations providing rescue efforts?”
In a statement by its executive director, Ade Oyesile, the group concluded: “It becomes obvious that Nigeria’s security system has been compromised."
President Buhari had courted controversy in 2017 when he granted tenure elongation to Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
On its part, the Progressive Youth Caucus (PYC), a coalition of groups in the All Progressives Congress (APC), urged the president to conduct an immediate review of the security architecture and do away with all non-performing service chiefs and heads of security organisations.
“Make the security forces more accountable and effective, even if this means drastic changes to the heads of the police, army, navy and Air Force,” PYC said.
Senate president, Bukola Saraki, while on a visit to Kwara state, had also called for the removal of the service chiefs, saying: “This is not something to be politicised. If somebody is not capable, he should give way for others that are competent.”
Also, the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) called for an urgent reconstitution of the top echelon of the security forces.
“The Nigerian government has serially breached its social contract with the people of the Middle Belt by its failure to protect their lives and property. In very many cases, the circumstances surrounding the killings and destruction suggest complicity by the leadership of security and intelligence agencies,” the group said at a press conference in Abuja.
Referring to the Plateau state killings, MBF president Dr. Pogu Bitrus, noted: “It is inconceivable that an attack of such magnitude requiring the kind of logistics involved could have been planned without any inkling by the intelligence agencies.”
Opposition party, Action Democratic Party (ADP) particularly blamed the tenure elongationof the service chiefs for engendering low morale in defence quarters and consequently precipitating decline in security.
“We have come to the conclusion that political consideration is the only reason the president subverted the normal succession process in the military with the belief that they (service chiefs) could be deployed to subvert the electoral process in 2019,” said national chairman, Yabagi Sani.
Meanwhile, a former Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Lagos, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of shielding killer herdsmen and treating them with kids gloves.
Cardinal Okogie made the claims in an open letter written to the president titled: “Dear Mr. President, Call a Spade a Spade.”
He also asked the president to renounce his seat following what he described as the Buhari’s failure to secure the lives and property of Nigerians.
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