After Meeting Buhari, Gbajabiamila Makes U-Turn On Call For Service Chiefs’ Sack
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Monday, reversed himself and perhaps his colleagues on the lower legislative chamber’s recent call for the sack or resignation of Nigeria’s service chiefs.
THE WHISTLER reported last week that the House had during a plenary session on the nation’s insecurity, reached a resolution to ask the service chiefs to resign for alleged incompetence or be sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The resolution was reached after a Rep, Abubakar Fulata, initiated a debate on the worsening security situation in the country, during which Fulata warned that it would be detrimental for President Buhari to continue to keep the service chiefs because they have allegedly outlived their usefulness.
Several lawmakers in the senate had also called for the sack of the service chiefs over growing kidnappings, banditry and killings in the country.
But after a meeting between President Buhari, Senate President Ahmad Lawan and himself on Monday, Speaker Gbajabiamila suggested that it was wrong for the House to call for the sack of the service chiefs as the country’s internal security problems do not fall under their job description.
“Many of us identify that something drastic has to be done, there’s also the school of thought that says since we are talking about banditry, kidnapping, and murders, what have the armed forces got to do with that, anywhere in the world? So the question then arises that if he (President Buhari) changes the service chiefs, does that address the issues of kidnapping and banditry? The army, navy and air force are outfits set up to tackle external aggression. It is the police that is set up for internal security, such as we are all witnessing,” the Speaker told State House correspondents after the meeting with the President.
Gbajabiamila added, “…talking about service chiefs, has the Inspector-General of Police met up with his responsibilities? The question is if we now narrow it [down] to the Inspector General to Police, many will argue that he has done a very good job and many will argue with you that he’s hamstrung, straight-jacketed, there’s very little he can do in the face of no equipment, no funding and we explained to Mr President that we have to increase funding, we have to recruit more.”
On his part, the Senate President did not provide much details on their discussion with Buhari.
Lawan said they discussed “everything that matters as far as the issue of security if this country is concern.”
Asked whether they discussed the call for the service chiefs’ sack with Buhari, the Senate President said: “We believe that it is imperative that we are able to provide those necessary equipment and welfare for the armed forces of this country and the police, to ensure that they are able to operate and performed efficiently and effectively.”
Lawan said the President Buhari was “more worried than anybody else” about the security challenges and assured that the NASS in colobaration with the executive will find a lasting solution to the matter.