Not less than twice, the Senate and the House of Representatives have called for the sack of Service chiefs, believed to have overstayed their tour of duty. But President Muhammadu Buhari has ignored the lawmakers like Newsome gnats.
The Senate has reiterated its call for the sack; and the House of Reps gone a step further to summon the Commander-in-Chief and POTFRON (President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) to the its hallowed chamber to explain the insecurity especially in the North-east.
But is it another round of hot air, huffing and puffing to no avail, going by the comments of Presidential spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu? Time will tell.
Following fresh calls for the sack of the Service chiefs after Saturday’s slaughter of over 45 rice farmers, Shehu on Monday night on Arise TV, said, “I am not aware that the tenure of service chiefs is subjected to any law of 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 own determination; he decides who he keeps as his service chiefs and for how long.”
Notwithstanding, the House was unequivocal in its summons: Invite President Muhammadu Buhari, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to brief the House of Representatives on the True State of the Security of the Nation;
They condemned the killing of unarmed civilian farmers at Zabarmari village Jere Local Government near Maiduguri, in Borno State by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Saturday 28th November, 2020.
As far as the Senate is concerned, the Service chiefs have done their utmost best, and should be let go because they have nothing more to offer.
In the resolutions which restate that the failure of the chiefs is that of their commander, the most senior of lawmakers, often referred to as rubber stamps to the Presidency, the Senate noted that President Buhari ought to have visited the bereaved in Borno State instead of sending a delegation.
They also urge the President to immediately initiate the transitionary process of phasing out the current over-stayed security chiefs and replacing them with new ones with new ideas and solutions;
Other resolutions were: “Urge the President to take immediate steps to restructure, remodel and revamp the country’s entire security architecture and provide enough state-of-the-art weapons and equipment to effectively combat the belligerent power of the insurgents;
“Urge the President to immediately initiate probe into widespread allegations of corruption and leakages within the security structure and put mechanisms in place to foster transparency and ensure all resources meant and deployed for security are actually spent on the needs on ground;
“Impress on the Federal Government to aggressively explore multilateral and bilateral options of partnership with the neighboring nations of Chad, Niger and Cameroon towards reviving and strengthening the Multinational Joint Task Force and finding a lasting solution to the insurgency to the scourge of insurgency in the Lake Chad region;
“Impress on the Federal Government as a matter of urgency, recruit at least 10,000 civilian JTF, versatile with the local terrain in Borno as Agro-Rangers under the aegis of the NCDSC to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Armed forces; and
“Direct NEMA, NEDC and Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to compensate the families of the 67 that were killed in this incident, and provide succor and psychological support to the bereaved families;
“Impress on the Federal Government to provide proper welfare for security personnel fighting in the frontlines and give prime attention to the compensation and welfare of fallen soldiers as that would boost the soldiers morale and aid their concentration;
“Finally, as a way of proffering long term solution to Nigeria’s existential security challenges, the Federal and States Government must adequately address all immediate and remote causes of insecurity in the nation”.
The resolutions merely stopped at endorsing the suggestions of Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum.
In the House of Representatives, angry members resisted the attempts by known Presidency supporters to stop the summoning of Buhari and other attendant resolutions.
They summoned President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before the House to explain the never- ending insurgency that has claimed over 30,000 lives and displaced over two million in the North-east, despite claims of successes.
The motion that triggered the summon was the one by lawmakers from Borno on an urgent need to condemn and investigate the insane killing of unarmed farmers in Jere Local Government of Borno State.
The motion by Hon. Ahmed Satomi, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Hon. Zainab Gimba, Hon. Muktar Betara, Hon. Mallam Bukar Gana, Hon. Haruna Mshelia, Hon. Ahmadu Usman Jaha, Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed Bukar, Hon. Usman Zannah, Hon. Abdulkadir Rahis, read:
“Pained that more than 43 people were killed in an “insane” and barbaric attack of rice farmers in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State on Saturday 28th November 2020;
“Troubled that the attackers tied up agricultural labourers working in rice fields and slit their throats in Zabarmari village Jere Local Government near Maiduguri, in Borno State;
“Disturbed that some of the victims were labourers from other States of the Federation who had travelled to work on the rice farm fields in Borno State;
“Worried that the exact number of people killed in the incident is not yet known as over 44 dead bodies were recovered buried, all of them slaughtered, along with six others with serious injuries and many more residents are reported missing;
“Recognises that at the funeral of the victims on Sunday 29th November, 2020 the governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, statted that “Our people are in very difficult situations, they are in two different extreme conditions: in one side, [if] they stay at home, they may be killed by hunger and starvation; on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents.”;
“More worried by the inability of the Military and Security Forces in averting the continued wanton killings by Book Haram insurgents, bandits, and terrorists in the North East and across the country;
“Aware that President Muhammadu Buhari has condemn the senseless killing of several hard-working farmers by terrorists as the entire country is hurt by the dastard;
“Also aware of the urgent need for the President and Commander of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to reorganize the security architecture of the country to end insurgency in the North East, banditry and all acts of terrorism across the nation.”