The call on President Muhammdu Buhari to sack Nigeria’s Army Chief, Tukur Buratai, over his alleged demoralizing comment against troops contending Boko Haram appears to be growing.
Opposition parties including the Peoples Democratic Party, Zenith Labour Party and Coalition of United Political Parties are the latest to demand the sack of the service chiefs over renewed Boko Haram attacks, rising kidnapping and banditry as well as the general insecurity in some parts of the country.
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Wednesday came under attack for blaming insufficient commitment of troops on the frontline of the insurgency war, for the recent setbacks in combating Boko Haram.
The PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Diran Odeyemi, in an interview with The PUNCH, called for the sack of the service chiefs with immediate effect. He expressed worry that despite the huge budget to tackle Boko Haram and kidnapping, insecurity was still high in the country.
He stated that, “The leadership of these security outfits need to be questioned…If the head of Daura community could be kidnapped, who else is safe in this country? We are not safe. The United Kingdom just gave a directive to its nationals that Nigeria is not safe for them to visit. This is very unfortunate. We call on Buhari to declare a state of emergency in security and act fast.
“The service chiefs should be sacked with immediate effect. They deserve to be sacked. He should sack all of them.”
Similarly, the National Chairman of the ZLP, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, opined that the growing insecurity in some parts of the country was worrisome and alarming.
He said, “Of course, the tenure of the service chiefs has expired and the job has become monotonous for them. There are young military officers who want to prove that they can do something and they must be given the chance.”
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Mr Imo Ugochinyere, the spokesman of CUPP, meanwhile called for the sack of the security chiefs, stating that Buhari should tell Nigerians the truth about his alleged inability to address the security challenges of the country.
He said, “You can see the Chief of Army Staff telling us that the morale of some of the troops is low… First of all, the President should sack those incompetent people who are heading the security agencies.
These people have been heading these agencies for the last three or four years. The first responsibility of any government is the security and welfare of the citizens. Let him sack them first and then declare a state of emergency. Everything is not politics. Tell the nation the truth that this war, you are not winning.”
On his part, Second Republic politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai Yakasai urged the President to admit that his strategies for fighting the Boko Haram insurgency had failed.
Yakasai was reported to have said, “It is disheartening to hear from no less a person than the Chief of Army Staff that the army which he commands is to blame for recent losses in the battle field.
“That the head of an army that is the backbone of the fight is making such a statement is disappointing. Before President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015, the Boko Haram insurgency was our main security challenge.
“Today, four years down the line, Boko Haram is still strong despite claims to the contrary by those in government. We have no less than five other active serious security challenges confronting us, instead of reducing, our security challenges have multiplied.
“The President must admit that his strategy has failed and that he needs to return to the drawing board by first, changing his security team-perhaps the new team will come with bright new ideas to deal with the problem.”