From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Coalition of Civil Society for Peace and Good Governance in Africa (COSPAGA) called for the sack of the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, suggesting that the spokesman is tarnishing the President’s image with his recent remarks on insecurity in the country.
COSPAGA faulted the presidential aide’s recent comments in which he boasted that the federal security service chiefs would remain in office as long as the President was satisfied with them, despite public outcry for their removal.
COSPAGA National Coordinator Christopher Yakubu, Secretary, Ibrahim Funtua; and Director of programme, Barr. Lola Babalola, in a statement on Tuesday, said such a remark questions the professionalism and competence of an image-maker.
Yakubu advised President Buhari to immediately sack the aide. His statement reads:
‘We received with rude and outright shock the 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 wonder if Garba Shehu ever went to any image managing school in his life.
‘For us, we think Garba Shehu is a liability to Buhari’s government and is largely responsible for putting this government in a bad light.
‘We appeal to Mr President to sack and replace him with a more competent and experienced Nigerian.’
He maintained that the removal of service chiefs and appointment of fresh minds would simmer down the spate of killings as they would bring to bear new tactics to squash bandits.
‘While we appreciate the fact that sacking the service chiefs may not automatically end the war against insurgence 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.
‘No strategy to end the insurgency can yield any results with the current crop of service chiefs.
‘Statistically, the military kinetic approach can only do 37% out of the 100 in ending insurgence and insecurity”, the Coalition said “the remaining 63% can be achieved by state and non-state actors using non-kinetic approaches.
‘This is why building public confidence is very key in ending the war against terror,’ he said.