With a tone of humility, President Muhammad Buhari admitted on Wednesday that Nigeria’s security situation is in a state of emergency. He promised to encourage his newly appointed service chiefs with prayers for success. In his maiden meeting with the service chiefs at the State House in Abuja, he charged them to be patriotic, and
With a tone of humility, President Muhammad Buhari admitted on Wednesday that Nigeria’s security situation is in a state of emergency. He promised to encourage his newly appointed service chiefs with prayers for success.
In his maiden meeting with the service chiefs at the State House in Abuja, he charged them to be patriotic, and serve the country well.
The president’s maiden meeting with the new service chiefs took place amidst criticism that the appointment may not have followed the appropriate procedure. Usually, because the appointment requires confirmation by the Senate, names of such appointees are revealed in letter to the National Assembly read during the plenary.
A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, had on July 1, 2013 ruled that any appointment of service chiefs by the president without approval of the National Assembly was unconstitutional and illegal.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting between the President and the service chiefs, Mr Femi Adesina, the president’s spokesman in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying: “We’re in a state of emergency. Be patriotic, serve the country well, as your loyalty is to the country.”
The president congratulated the service chiefs on heading their various services, adding: “there’s nothing I can tell you about the service, because you are in it. I was also in it, and I will pray for you. I also assure you that whatever I can do as Commander-in-Chief will be done, so that the people will appreciate your efforts.
“You know the stage we were in 2015, you know the stage we are now, and the undertakings we made. We promised to secure the country, revive the economy, and fight corruption. None has been easy, but we have certainly made progress.”
Buhari also charged the Service Chiefs to be concerned about the morale of their officers and men, saying they should be made to feel physically and professionally secure.
He pledged that government would do its best in terms of equipment and logistics.
The service chiefs were led to the meeting by the Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi. The new service chiefs are: Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and AVM Isiaka Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the meeting, Gen. Irabor said they would work to bring security to lives and properties.
He said: “We have just seen Mr. President and we are mindful of the demands. We can only at this stage pledge our utmost best to bring safety and security to lives and properties across the country.’’
According to the CDS, they will ensure that value is added to the lives of citizens. “On behalf of the Service Chiefs, I am assuring the nation peace and security. We believe there will be value that will be added to the security disposition of the nation,’’ he added.
On the message from the president, he stated: “The message from the president is that we, knowing the current security environment must do everything possible to add value to the security disposition and the expectations are high and that we are quite mindful of that expectations. So, we collectively, will work to achieve that.”
The state of insecurity across the country from Boko Haram, to banditry herdsmen killings and kidnappings had raised tensions in the country to the point of triggering communal strives.
For sometime now, Nigerians have clamoured for a change in armed forces service leadership due to visible ineffectiveness of the outgone service chiefs so as to bring the worsening security situation under control. Even the National Assembly had to pass a vote of no confidence on the service chiefs.