From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Piqued by President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sack the federal service chiefs over the spate of insecurity, northern elders under the aegis of Conference of Nigerian Elder’s (CONES), have warned that the situation would cost him, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the 2023 general elections.
The group, in a statement, yesterday by its representative Prof. Tunde Banjo, Achike Nwachukwu and four others, expressed shock over Buhari’s refusal to do the needful despite public outcry and consistent killings besetting the country.
Prof Banjo noted that the security heads were not indispensable, regretting that their inability to contend insecurity since their appointments had portrayed the federal government in a bad light.
“We issue this statement to state our position on a pertinent national issue that has become embarrassing to our dear country and which has put us to shame even among our immediate brothers in the West African sub region.
“It is the issue of security of life and property which is deteriorating daily, and which Mr President has deliberately refused to act according to the demands of Nigerians.
“We wish to categorically say that it is not normal for a whole country to be speaking with one voice that the service chiefs should not only be sacked but also that the entire security architecture be rejigged, and Mr President would remain adamant and less concerned.
“Nigerians are tired of the alarming insecurity in the country and the seeming inaction of Mr President in addressing the situation.
“Those responsible for actions or inaction which has heightened the insecurity must go and new and effective hands injected into the system.
“The Conference of Concerned Nigeria Elders wishes to appeal to our dear President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhamamadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, sack the current service chiefs without further delay.
“Our position is because we have seen that the president may lose the support of Nigerians over the embarrassing security situation we are facing if he doesn’t act fast enough. No part of Nigeria is safe today,” he said.
While acknowledging that President Buhari gets daily briefings on the security situation in the country by the security heads, he claimed that “most of those reports are not true reflections of the situation on ground.
“Already, there is low morale in the military over the continued stay of the service chiefs whose tenures in their various offices have since lapsed.
“Who knows if there are invisible hands out there in the service frustrating the fight against insurgency and insecurity in the country deliberately due to the continued stay of the service chiefs?
“We appeal to the president to hearken to the call by majority of Nigerians as reflected in the country’s parliament recently that it’s time for him to do the needful.
“We are in a democracy where any decision of government or leaders is taken from the popular view, majority of Nigerians have since spoken in this regard and as a democrat, our president should listen.”