Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has told Nigerians not to expect magic from the new service chiefs, as they will not dramatically change the nation’s fortunes in its fight against insecurity.
The elders, in a statement yesterday by NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, urged President Muhammadu Buhari, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to hold the service chiefs accountable.
Buhari on Tuesday announced the appointment of four new service chiefs. They are Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS); Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff (COAS); RAdm. Awwal Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS); and AVM Ishiaka Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
HOWEVER, commendations have trailed the change of baton in the country’s security architecture. They came from governors and groups in the North.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, while joining other Nigerians in congratulating the new service chiefs, urged them to confront the security challenges head-on to restore hope and confidence of the people.
Ortom in a message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, maintained that the new service chiefs came at a time the security architecture of the country needed rejigging to cope with 21st century challenges.
Also, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has applauded Buhari for yielding to national emergency call of replacing the security chiefs.
He commended the appointment of Zubair, an indigene of Kano, as CNS.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, the governor expressed optimism that the new appointment would check the growing security challenge.
Youths in the north, under the aegis of Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), have commended Buhari for finally listening to the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens by removing the former service chiefs.
National President of AYF, Gambo Gujungu, yesterday, expressed hope that they would justify the confidence reposed in them.
Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) also applauded the development, saying that the tenure of the former service chiefs worsened Nigeria’s security challenges.
Spokesman of ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, told The Guardian: “We in the ACF think it is a great relief on Nigerians that the former service chiefs were sacked because they had outlived their usefulness in the military.”
But SOKAPU spokesman, Luka Binniyat, said: “It is unfortunate that the Federal Government has to wait until the military has been rubbished by the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the former service chiefs in handling the insecurity facing Nigeria.
“They bowed out of service when the insecurity in the country has got worse. We expect the new service chiefs to learn from the antecedents of their predecessors and guard against pitfalls.”