By Chesa Chesa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday informed the Senate that he could not be pressured to sack the Service Chiefs as requested by the lawmakers against the background of spiralling insecurity situation in the country.
Reacting to a resolution by the Senate today that the Service Chiefs should either resign or be sacked, the President reminded the Senators that “appointment or sack of service chiefs is a presidential prerogative”.
Buhari made his point in a statement issued by his media adviser, Femi Adesina.
According to the statement: “The Senate Tuesday adopted a resolution calling on the Service Chiefs to resign or be sacked due to the multi-pronged security challenges in the country.
“The Presidency notes the resolution, and reiterates that appointment or sack of Service Chiefs is a Presidential prerogative, and President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, will do what is in the best interest of the country at all times.”
The nation’s top military commanders include the CDS, General Gabriel Olonisakin, Service Chiefs – Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai (Army), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas (Navy) and Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Air Force); were appointed y Buhari in July 2015 and had been criticised in many quarters for not doing enough to tackle security challenges in the country.
The Senate therefore, in a motion sponsored by Ali Ndume, the Senator representing Borno South who is also chairman of the upper legislative Committee on Army, earlier in the day sought for the conscience and honour of the nation’s top military commanders, asking them to resign since the President had refused to sack them.
Senator Francis Fadahunsi, representing Osun East Senatorial District, in an amended resolution in a motion earlier moved by Senator Ali Ndume, said: “Mr President, distinguished colleagues, I hereby move an amendment to the resolution that all the Service Chiefs should step down.”
Senator Betty Apiafi seconded the motion and it was upheld by the Senate.
In his remarks, Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan expressed concern at the large number of military officers who are leaving the war front.
He said there was the need for government to look into what is happening wrongly in the military.