President Buhari after many months of public pressure sacked the Service Chiefs and immediately replaced them with new ones. Appointed are Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral AZ Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, Chief of Air Staff. There was no appointee from the five eastern states. The Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CONEPD), In a statement by its National Coordinator, Zana Goni, while appealing for calm, questioned the President on the sin Ndigbo have committed that would warrant such high level marginalization. They promised to mount pressure on the President to include an Igbo person in the security architecture but Presidential adviser, Femi Adesina in an interview defended President Buhari’s action. He said security appointments need not satisfy the Federal character principle enshrined in the 1999 constitution.
What sin has the Igbo
Committed? – Goni
We completely throw our weight behind Ohanaeze Ndigbo on their position over the appointments of the new service chiefs.
We vehemently appeal to Mr President for a review of the appointments to accommodate our Igbo brothers from the South East region in line with the federal character principle of the country.
We are absolutely sure that taking this action will make the designers of our country happy where they are watching. We received with great excitement the news about the sacking of the former service chiefs of the country by Mr President. It is quite commendable that the President finally listened to the clarion call by Nigerians to that effect. However, the composition of the service chiefs greeted us with mixed feelings and sincere concerns.
We strongly believe that the list is not fair as it is lacking in fairness, justice, and equity to the south easterners. We thought some lessons would have been learnt by the Presidency by now that the Igbos too, are also Nigerians and deserve to be fairly and godly treated.
How can there be an appointment of two sets of service chiefs without any Igbo person among them? Is this fair? What exactly have the Igbo people done to deserve this kind of unfair treatment? The group said it found that Igbo has senior and very qualified military officers in the Navy, Army, and Air force who are serving faithfully in their various capacities!
What is their sin? We have seen how the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and several Igbo groups are fighting the criminal son, Nnamdi Kanu and his group, the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on a daily basis because they believe and act one Nigeria.
President appoints whoever
he sees fit – Adesina
Adesina while speaking on their appointment, said his principal did a thorough job in coming up with the four newly appointed commanders. President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Nigerians are not in the position to assess the service chiefs. Adesina further noted that the appointment of the new service chiefs was not based on a federal character but was based on competence.
President will appoint whoever he sees fit.
There are certain appointments that are subject to federal character, for instance, the constitution says that there must be a minister from each state of the country but there are certain appointments that are also not subject to federal character and one of them is in security.
In security, they are not subject to Federal Character. It is about competence; it is about the ability to deliver.
So, the president will appoint whoever he feels is fit and proper and will deliver to the best level for the country and for Nigerians.
You and I would not be able to assess them because we are civilians.
To use the word of the military, we are bloody civilians. We would not know.
So, we are not in a position to assess these service chiefs and why they were appointed.
The style of the president is to call for service records. He would scrutinise many and then he can make up his mind on who is best suited (for the job).
Don’t forget that other people like the minister of defence and other retired general he would consult and those who know.
And he has come up with choices that he thinks are best for Nigerians at this time.