All the growing concerns behind the ‘Service Chiefs’ trend

For at least one year, Nigerians have over and over again voiced the need for decisive action from the government on the spate of insecurity in the nation.

Social media campaigns had been initiated and directed at President Muhammadu Buhari, demanding an overhaul of the National security architecture and an end to the massive killings in the North. In recent months also, insurgent group, Boko Haram and armed bandits are consistently reported to have massacred hundreds of people in the Northern states.

Nigerians have been clearly agitated and are eagerly watching to see if the President would make proactive decisions in response to the attacks.  This explains why when it became public knowledge that President Buhari held a closed-door meeting with service chiefs at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, more agitated opinions arose.

There are reports that the Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces expressed strong disappointment with the handling of the situation, which was just enough for majority of the public to reignite the campaign for the officials to be sacked rather than be reprimanded verbally.

 

The  Chief of Defence Staff is expected to formulate and execute policies, strategies that ensure the highest attainment of National Security and operational competence of the Armed Forces namely; the Army, Navy and Air Force. He is also assisted by the other Service Chiefs. 

Appointed on July 13, 2015, by President Buhari, the Service Chiefs include the Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, and Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar. According to the Armed Forces Terms and Conditions of Service, the tenure of the Service Chiefs expired on July 13, 2017, and the fact that they are still in power is another reason for the public outcry against them. 

Alongside this complaint, Nigerians are stressing that they have not shown competence. They also pushed that in light of the overwhelming and increasing insecurity in the land, the only expectation is to sack these service chiefs. They highlighted that these officials had clearly failed at their jobs and new service chiefs should be appointed who can produce results. 

 

To buttress their points, many stressed that if the President could sack security officials over a shooting incident at the Presidential Villa, he should not hesitate to sack Service Chiefs that have allowed for an escalation of the insecurity crisis in the nation.

 

Still, there were those that countered this perspective, accusing people of trying to “cover-up” for the President. They labelled him as the source of Nigeria’s issues and claim that no amount of sack would ever make up for his inefficiency in office. 

 

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