Buhari with service chiefs
Buhari with service chiefs. Credit: The Cable

OBINNA EZUGWU

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, rejected a resolution by the senate asking the country’s service chiefs to step aside over the continued killing of soldiers by bandits and terrorists in the country.

The president who rejected the resolution in a statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said appointment and removal of service chiefs is his prerogative.

“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 statement said.

“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 Senate had during plenary on Tuesday asked the service chiefs to step aside following the killings of soldiers who are fighting insurgency and banditry in some parts of northern Nigeria.

The motion was brought to the floor of the Senate via a point of order, moved by the Chairman of its Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume.

Those who contributed to the motion lamented the implication of the disturbing development stressing that it was capable of frustrating the war against insurgency and banditry.

They noted that many members of the armed forces who are scared of losing their lives have started resigning from the military.

The Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs, Senator Ayo Fadahunsi, proposed an additional prayer that demanded the stepping aside of the service chiefs and his prayer was seconded by Senator Betty Apiafi.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, ruled on the prayer and it was overwhelmingly supported by all the senators in attendance.

The Senate thus asked the service chiefs to step aside so that President Buhari appoint new ones with fresh ideas.

The joint committees on Defence, Army, Air force, Police, and Interior were also mandated to receive briefings from the new service chiefs and the Minister of Interior on the disturbing development.