The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has disagreed with the National Assembly’s call for sack of the country’s head of security agencies.
The governor argued that the present service chiefs are committed to defending the territorial integrity of the country.
He spoke in Abakaliki on Friday during the groundbreaking ceremony of Nigerian Army Reference Hospital.
The National Assembly had passed a resolution recently calling on President Mohammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs for non-performance.
They cited rising cases of insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other acts of criminality across the country for their reasons for the call.
But Mr Umahi, in his speech at the groundbreaking of the reference hospital, opposed the National Assembly’s call.
“I want to disagree with the National Assembly in my own view about the change of service chiefs. One thing I have realised is that we like change too much in this country. We want everybody to taste every seat,” he said.
“That is not what we need at this critical time of our security challenges. What we need is cooperation with the security agencies.
“Without undermining the former inspectors general, this Inspector General is a very different human being. He is a very stubborn man but stubborn to the policies and law of the land. And that is the person this country needs”.
The Chief of Army staff is also a very committed person. Very friendly to the civil society,” the governor said.
Mr Umahi said what the service chiefs require at the moment is more information from the populace and increased funding and logistics support from the government.
He said sacking the service chiefs now may derail the fight against insurgency and criminality as their successors may take some time learning the ropes.
“So what these people need is cooperation, information. It is difficult for people to do anything without information. This is very important. And at this stage even when you change, whoever you bring is going to learn the ropes. And I believe that whatever decisions the service chiefs are not taking by them alone they are taken by also the senior officers,” he said.
“So I will be suggesting to Mr President in support of his retaining the service chiefs that we should increase their funding of the armed forces, we should increase their logistics, we should increase the programme that will bring information to the security agencies,” he said.
“So I support Mr President that instead of changing the service chiefs to rather increase their funding and increase the frequency of his meetings with them. And also encourage civil society to come up with information that will assist the security agencies.”
Mr Umahi also described as unfortunate the recent attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum by insurgents.
“It is very unfortunate that my colleague was ambushed and I thank the Army for the way they responded with a very high level of humility and great understanding,” he said.
The Chief of Army staff, Tukur Buratai, commended the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army for their gallantry in operations across the country.
He said the military has made remarkable progress in the fight against insurgency, militancy, oil bunkering, kidnapping and other acts of criminality across the country.
While praying for the souls of the departed officers who lost their lives in defending the country, Mr Buratai urged the officers to remain professional in performing their duties.
The Chief of Army Staff, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Lamidi Adeosun, said the Reference Hospital, when completed, will reduce the loss of valuable time and stress usually experienced in transporting injured soldiers to tertiary hospitals outside the zone.
The hospital, according to him, will provide tertiary care to all formations of the Army within the Southeast and South-South zones of the country.