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House Of Reps Asks Service Chiefs To Resign

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday unanimously asked all the military service chiefs in the country to immediately resign or sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari as they have outlived their usefulness.

The House said the Service Chiefs have not been able to address the security challenges confronting Nigeria since 2015 when they were appointed by the President, adding that they have adopted same strategies that have not yielded any positive result.

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Arising from a motion of urgent public importance moved by the Chief Whip of the House, Hon, Mohammed Tahir Monguno and 14 others, the House asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Service Chiefs if they fail to resign their position.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, who presided over plenary, suspended all other business of the House to enable members debate the motion and take a decision.

Debate on the motion titled “Need to curb the incessant attacks of the Boko Haram Insurgents in the North-East Zone”, lasted for over three hours with members expressing anger at the rising insecurity in the country.

Monguno expressed concerns about the recent upsurge in attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East zone, recalling that activities of the insurgents were reduced, at a time, to the barest minimum resulting in improved security in Borno and Yobe States.

He said that successes recorded by the security agents led to increased economic activities within the North-East zone, adding regrettably the insurgents who were relegated to the background are unleashing terror in Borno and Yobe States.

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“Recently, the insurgents forced the Nigerian Military to close traffic on the Damaturu-Maiduguri Road for some days. The Damaturu-Maiduguri road is the only access from Maiduguri to other parts of Nigeria.”

Abubakakar Fulata (APC, Jigawa) called for the withdrawal of security personnel serving in the north east and their replacement with new personnel, adding that the long overstay of the security personnel has largely contributed to their inefficiency as they were tired of remaining there.

Abdurazaq Namdas said upsurge in attacks by Boko Haram in the north east and increasing insecurity in across the country was worrisome, but opposed the idea of removing all the personnel currently serving in the area, saying their experience was still needed to assist those that will be sent to work there.

He reminded the House that the Nigerian constitution allows the President to invite the military to intervene in internal security of the nation, but stressed the need to retrain ad equip the police to properly handle internal security in the country.

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Francis Waive, said the issue of insecurity in the country has gone beyond the issue of one zone, stressing that every Nigerian should be concerned about what is going on in the country.

He said the Service Chiefs should do a soul searching on whether they have performed creditably well and whether they are proud of what they have achieved since their appointment in 2015.

Ndudi Elumelu wants more investment in equipment for the security agencies, stressing that there was no way you can ask policeman to rescue you when he is poorly equipped.

He said there were a lot of things going on in the country, which need urgent attention.

“The National Security Adviser is from the North East and cannot get to his village. The Chief of Army Staff is also from the North East and cannot get to his village. The Chief of Air staff too. That speaks volume of their ability.

Eumelu who is the Minority Leader of the House said the Service Chiefs were not showing good example and have outlived their usefulness, adding that “the best thing for them to do is to take a bow and go. If you don’t know when to leave, then you will be eased out.”

He said Nigerians must be told that some people are feeding fat on the system, adding that “people are stealing money and not doing what they are supposed to do”.

Sada Sori argued that the President was not being told the truth about developments in the north east.

In amending the original motion, Francis Waive asked the House to demand the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, while some other members want the President to immediately sack them.

But the Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, Jimi Benson, said the laws allowed the President to keep the Service Chief as long as he wishes, but expressed concern over recent developments in the country.

“The National Security Adviser is from the North East and cannot get to his village. The Chief of Army Staff is also from the North East and cannot get to his village. The Chief of Air staff too. That speaks volume of their ability.

“But the solution lies in the hand of the President. I don’t know why he has kept them since 2015 when they were first appointed. He should decide whether to continue to keep them or not. I believe the resolution here will prick his conscience”.

The House also resolved that the leadership of the House and indeed the National Assembly should hold a tripartite meeting with the President and the Service Chiefs with a view to finding lasting solution to the security challenges.

*Reported by The Nation

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