President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday gave a clean bill of performance on the nation’s Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs and security agency heads, saying that they are working hard.
President Buhari also assured that there would be more resources for the country’s military, Police and security agencies to deal with the unwanted security situation in some areas of the country.
The President, in a message to Nigerians shortly after performing the Eid prayers with his family and aides at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday, however described the security situation, particularly in Northwest and Northcentral parts of the country as “very disturbing.”
The Nigerian Senate had in an unprecedented move last week Tuesday, asked the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Service Chiefs to resign from office over their inability to contain and destroy the Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and bandits in the Northern part of the country.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives has separately in the past called on President Buhari to sack them as the security of the nation has continued to deteriorate by the day.
But the Senate, in a motion sponsored by Ali Ndume, the Senator representing Borno South who is also chairman of the upper legislative Committee on Army, now sought for the conscience and honour of the nation’s top military commanders, asking them to go on their own since the President has refused to sack them.
Presidential Spokesperson, Femi Adesina, in a two-paragraph statement replied the Senate, stating that “The Presidency notes the resolution, and reiterates that 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.”
On Friday, in response to a specific question on the performance of the Service Chiefs, President Buhari said: “We are making available resources to them to even do better. From the reports I am getting, they could do much better. They could do much better. But we are keeping them on the alert all the time to do their duties.”
President Buhari said that while much had been achieved, security wise, from the situation he inherited in 2015, more still needed to be done.
He said considering the security situation on ground when he came to office, “Nigerians know that we have done our best. However, what is coming out of the North West and the North Central is very disturbing.”
On the issue of corruption, President Buhari said that all past and present cases would be fully investigated.
“This is why we put the Commission (of investigation) in place. There has been abuse of trust by people trusted by the previous administration and this administration.”
He noted that all of such cases will be uncovered and firmly dealt with by his government.
On the specific case of the Niger Delta, the President decried the wastage of the resources earmarked for the betterment of the lives of the people of that region, lamenting that corruption had been unhelpful in that regard, especially “if you recall there is the 13 per cent derivation.”
He also warned against the vandalization of oil pipelines in the oil- producing areas which often results in environmental pollution.
“Those who are blowing pipelines and interfering with the production of petroleum products are hurting their people more than the rest of Nigerians because majority of their people are fishermen, fisherwomen and farmers. Now if they pollute the land and the waters, the fish goes into the deeper sea where the people cannot go and they cannot grow anything. They are hurting their immediate communities more than any other thing,” the President further noted.