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Editor's note: An ex-serviceman, Major Atawodi Achile (retired), has alerted President Muhammadu Buhari over the implication of the proposed Armed Forces Bill by the Senate if passed into law.
Major Achile, a former serviceman under the Nigerian Army and now security expert, said it is “irrational, aberrational, inchoate, corrosive, abuse of legislative powers and traduces military tradition” for the National Assembly to embark in such path.
According to him, the National Assembly is being instigated by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and others interested in overthrowing the current administration and truncating the nation's democracy.
Read the full letter below:
President Muhammadu Buhari
The Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces
March 11, 2020
Compliments of the season to you and members of your cabinet. We salute you for the steadfastness and resoluteness of your administration in confronting the monstrous insecurities in Nigeria.
I solicit the support and cooperation of every Nigerian to your administration in these difficult and delicate times. We believe you are the Biblical Peter on whose rock God wishes to redeem and rebuild Nigeria.
Sir, you are aware of a Bill pending in the Senate for the establishment of Armed Forces Service Commission, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia).
The contents of the proposed legislation seek to wrest the sacred powers and authority conferred on you by the 1999 Constitution Section 217 and 218 for the composition, appointment and termination of services of Service Chiefs of the Armed Forces of Nigeria by vesting it in a Commission.
The bill expressly states that the commission shall have the powers to recommend to you or whoever is the President those qualified for appointment as Service Chiefs and Heads of other arm-bearing security agencies in Nigeria.
The offensive Bill also contemplated imbuing the Commission with the powers to recommend to the President the removal from office of these Service Chiefs and Heads of other arm-bearing security agencies on flimsy excuses or what members of the commission deem offensive.
We find such provisions irrational, aberrational, inchoate, corrosive, abuse of legislative powers and traduces military tradition. This is a serious attempt to unlawfully erode the powers of the Presidency and make the appointment of service chiefs and termination of the same susceptible to manipulation by political musketeers.
There is nowhere in the world that a President recognized as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces will have his powers in full exercise of this authority severed or stripped from him and quarantined in a strange body through legislation.
Mr President sir, I want to put you on notice that the National Assembly is being instigated by one Senator Abaribe and a few conspirators into unwholesome actions. It is another clandestine attempt to overthrow your government and truncate our democracy.
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I plead with you not to handle the matter with kid gloves but take decisive actions to checkmate the veiled infiltration of our National Assembly by foreign forces and agents in furtherance of the destabilization plots against Nigeria. Beware that the National Assembly has offered itself as a cheap plank for triggering disaffection, disunity and crisis in the country.
Thank you, sir, for your kind audience.
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