A peace advocacy group has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu over comments that Service Chiefs would remain in office as long as the president is satisfied with them.
The Coalition of Civil Society for Peace and Good Governance in Africa, (COSPAGA) in a statement in Abuja, by its National Coordinator, Dr Christopher Yakubu, National Secretary, Barr. Ibrahim Funtua and Director of programme, Barr. (Mrs) Lola Babalola, described the statement as reckless and irresponsible.
The Coalition said the Nigerian people employed the President and the Service Chiefs, hence it was wrong for the president to be satisfied with their performance when Nigerians are continuously groaning under insecurity.
According to the group, contrary to Shehu’s ignorance, the service chiefs were not employees of the President but Nigerians whose taxes, it said, were being used to pay them.
The group said the president was elected by the people and if the same people who gave him the mandate to pilot the affairs of the country feel something is going wrong in his administration, he must pause and listen to them.
“We received with rude and outright shock the irresponsible statement credited to Mallam Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman on Arise TV on Monday, where he stated that the service Chiefs will remain in office as long as Buhari is satisfied with them.
“Nothing can be more irresponsible, reckless, insensitive, unprofessional as such a statement.
“We appeal to Mr President to sack and replace him with a more competent and experienced Nigerian.
“Ordinarily, he ought to know that the Nigerian people are the employers of the president and the service chiefs with him inclusive, hence it’s not in the place of the president to be satisfied with the performance of the service chiefs but the Nigerian people who have since taken a sound and loud position that the service chiefs must be sacked immediately going by current developments in the country.
“The president and the service chiefs are paid and funded from Nigerian task payers’ money and must respect the wishes of Nigeria.”
“As it stands in Nigeria today, the call is loud and clear that the service chiefs be sacked and we urge the president to as a matter of national emergency, respect the wishes of Nigerian people by sacking the service chiefs.
“While we appreciate the fact that sacking the service chiefs may not automatically end the war against insurgency and insecurity in Nigeria, we strongly believe that appointment of new service chiefs that reflects federal character will usher in hope to the nation and will set in template total turnaround for our national security.
“The new officers will be coming in with new zeal, and ideas that may change the game, Nigeria will work closely through information sharing with them.
“This is why Nigerians are saying among so many other recommendations to end insurgence and insecurity, that the president must start first with the sack of service chiefs to restore confidence in the people,” the statement said.