Service Chiefs: Buhari tells Senate to mind its business

The Buhari presidency promptly Tuesday replied the Nigerian Senate over its resolution asking the Service Chiefs to step aside over the deteriorating insecurity in Nigeria.

The presidency said it noted the resolution, but excoriated the senators for offering the unsolicited advice.

“(the) appointment or sack of Service Chiefs is a Presidential prerogative, and President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, will do what is in the best interest of the country at all times”, presidential spokesman Malam Garba Shehu said.

Senator Ali Ndume sponsored the resolution passed on Tuesday.

Ndume is the chairman of Senate Committee on the Army and is representing Borno South, where an 11 year-old insurgency war is raging.

All the service chiefs, Gabriel Olonisakin, chief of defence staff; Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff; Sadique Abubakar, chief of air staff; and Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, chief of naval staff; are all overdue for retirement.

But President Buhari has kept them in office, even when security challenges are mounting.

On Saturday, no fewer than 23 Nigerian soldiers were ambushed and killed in Katsina by ‘bandits’.

In Borno, insurgents often raid villages, killing wantonly.

It was this concern that prompted Senator Ali Ndume to move the motion.

He cited order 42(1) and 52 to seek the leave of the Senate to Present a Motion on rising number of casualties among the Nigerian Army and other security agencies recently to ambushes.

“The spirit of this motion is that our armed forces are trying very heard. The good is still not enough. We need to continue to encourage and provide for them. They lay their lives on behalf of all of us and it is very sad that some of them have deserted the war front”, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said.

He then suggested that the Joint Committees should get to the root of about 200 soldiers who have deserted.

He also offered condolences to the families of the fallen heroes”.

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