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Service Chiefs: You must rise above politics, parochial interest on war against terrorism – Nigerians in Diaspora tell Senate

The Nigerian Senate has been asked to rise above politics and parochial interest on the war against terrorism in the country.

This advice came following the recent call by the Senate for the sack or resignation of the nation’s Service Chiefs.

The Senate made the resolution following the motion moved by Ali Ndume on Tuesday.

President Buhari, however, while reacting, reiterated that appointment or sack of Service Chiefs is a Presidential prerogative, and he will in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, do what is in the best interest of the country at all times.

Reacting to the development, the Nigerians in Diaspora Monitoring Group (United Kingdom Chapter), said the call for the sack or resignation of the nation’s Service Chiefs was borne out of selfish interest and not in the best interest of Nigeria.

Angela Boroh, President of the group in a statement on Wednesday, called on the Service Chiefs not to be distracted by the call but remain focused to restore normalcy to troubled areas.

The statement reads below.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Monitoring Group, United Kingdom Chapter, is constrained to urge the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that it is time for it to rise above politics, parochial, ethnic and self interest in the interest of the war against terrorism, insurgency and banditry in Nigeria.

Our call in this regard became necessary after the Senate threw caution to the winds and adopted a resolution demanding that the heads of the Military Services resign on the excuse that the security situation has degenerated. Senate’s decision to meddle in a field for which it is ill-equipped and mostly lacking in understanding is unfortunate.

Since 1999 when democratic rule was restored, the position of Nigerians has been an insistence on the need for the military to stay of politics. It is therefore our sincere belief that it is trite for the Senate to know that politics should be kept out of the military in the interest of the integrity of both institutions.

The misguided trip the Senate has embarked on, if not immediately jettisoned, has all the ingredients for compromising stability in Nigeria on the short, mid and long-term basis. The Senate should have known without being told that the resolution it adopted is a glaring hijack of President Muhammadu Buhari’s functions as the Commander-in-Chief. Senate’s persistence to micro-manage or take over the running of the Armed Forces is alien to the constitution and runs contrary to the convention in Nigeria, which could only end b badly for the country if allowed to stand.

Rather than meddle in the tenure of the Service Chiefs, the Senate, and indeed the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, should have concerned itself with legislative interventions to curb irregular movement that has allowed a steady flow of recruits from other countries into the folds of Boko Haram, stop the flow of illicit small and light firearms into the country and review treaties that allow nationals of neighbouring countries to enter into Nigeria without restrictions. They should also come up with creative ideas on how to stem terrorist financing through legal instruments instead of moving motions that strengthen Boko Haram and the Islamic State.

We had thought that by now the National Assembly would have mandated interfaces with countries whose activities directly and indirectly promotes instability and terrorism in Nigeria and countries bordering Nigeria. That is the way the parliaments of other countries support efforts at dealing with terrorism and Nigeria should not be an exception.

Our intervention in this development is not without regards to past incidences where Federal Lawmakers in Nigeria were accused of being on the take or engaging in shake down of public office holders for bribe. We want to believe that this intrusive resolution was not informed by a refusal of the service chiefs to “play ball”. Nigerians, especially those of us in the diaspora are that suspicious of the parliament in our country hence our belief that people who citizens adjudged to be that compromised have no business interfering in the prosecution of the war on terrorism.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Monitoring Group, United Kingdom Chapter, therefore been tormenting the country.

We urge the Service Chiefs to brush aside the call for their resignation for what it is, a pointless distraction. They must also take steps to carry out internal confidence building in order to undo some of the damages that the Senate’s motion might have caused since some officers must have now been incited to become partisan. The unwavering focus of the military should be securing Nigeria from all threats with specific interest in winning the war against terrorism and banditry. This vision should not change.

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