Buhari’s service chiefs operating illegally – CSOs

Several civil society organisations (CSOs) have accused the service chiefs of operating illegally in office since their tenure had elapsed on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

The CSOs under the aegis of Coalition of Civil Rights for Justice, Peace and Security (CRJPS), faulted the approval given by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, for a shake-up within the top hierarchy of the army.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Monday, Executive Secretary of the coalition, Barr. Abubakar Dan Bauchi, said given the worsening insecurity in the country, it was high time President Muhammadu Buhari listened to agitations in many quarters and overhaul Nigeria’s security architecture.

He said, “We note with regret that the continued retention of the Chief of Defence Staff and the Service Chiefs despite the fact that their constitutional tenure of office lapsed since July 13, 2019 is not in the spirit and letters of our revered Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“The failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to voice of reason and retire the security chiefs has not helped matters either; as the development has in no small measures contributed to stagnation in careers of our able military personnel besides the obvious fact that their morale in professional duties had been dampened.

“We, the Coalition of Civil Rights for Justice, Peace and Security have appealed to the president to immediately do the needful by retiring the Chief of Defence Staff and the service chiefs given that their constitutional tenure of office had since lapsed.

“Any official action taking by the Chief of Defence Staff and the service chiefs after this date is deemed not only illegal but also considered null and void.

“Their continued stay in office would amount to gross violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and will also demoralize officers and men who cannot grow in the system.

“As not only citizens of this country but also lovers of the current government, we are constrained to make this appeal to Mr President to immediately retire the service chiefs who were appointed on July 13, 2015 for a tenure of two years and whose tenures of office were extended. Our records show that they completed a four-year term.

“Given this, we kindly appeal to Mr President to immediately retire the Chief of Defence Staff and the various service chiefs as any official action taken by them in the office after July 13, 2019 will amount to illegality.

“Besides, their continuous stay in office is compressing the system and may have been responsible for the so much security lapses we have in the country today.”

The service chiefs include: Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

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