*As senate, reps want action
* Abaribe gets Knocks
*Former IGP media aide kick-starts suggestions on service chiefs sack
Issues surrounding the failure of Nigeria’s federal government to tackle and resolve the spate of insecurity that has permeated the country for years has pit the national assembly and the presidency against one another.
The house of representatives and the senate of the federal republic of Nigeria Wednesday agreed that the service chiefs have failed and need to be relieved of their jobs.
Some senators however went ahead to even demand for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari, a demand that the presidency found irritable and responded to harshly.
The house of representatives unanimously adopted a motion by Rep. Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno) at plenary on Wednesday, urging President Buhari to sack the service chiefs, if they fail to resign.
Moving the motion earlier, Monguno said that territorial integrity of Nigeria was being threatened following the resurgence of insurgency in the North East. He said the attacks by the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East zone have continued unabated for more than seven years. He recalled that when President Muhammadu Buhari came into power in 2015, the activities of insurgents were reduced to the barest minimum.
He also said, “Recently, the Boko Haram insurgents who were relegated to the background are now unleashing terror in Borno and Yobe states. The insurgents have forced the Nigerian military to close traffic on the Damaturu-Maiduguri road for some days. The Damaturu-Maiduguri road is the only access from Maiduguri to other parts of Nigeria. The closure of the road is an indication that the Boko Haram insurgents have seized the road and attacked communities on that axis.”
The senate also Wednesday asked the president to sack the service chiefs and appoint new ones as they deliberated on a motion on national security challenges and the need to restructure the nation’s security architecture.
They arrived at a resolution that the president should declare a national security emergency.
But Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe from Abia state insisted that the president must himself resign alongside the service chiefs, saying their failure signifies his failure as well.
“If you want to treat an issue, you go to the head. We did not appoint the IG or the security chiefs. We will go to the president and ask him to resign,” Abaribe said.
The presidency late Wednesday responded to Abaribe specifically, saying his suggestion was “foolish”.
Presidential media assistant, Garba Shehu, said “there are millions of other Nigerians who need to resign, including Senator Abaribe who unlocked the door to enable the escape of traitorous and treasonable suspects.
“Just because some characters think that President Buhari should resign, then they expect him to quit. That call does not represent the opinion of the country. This is the opinion of an arm chair critic, known for making stray comments.”
Shehu said “Abaribe’s party raped the nation and left it collapsing in 2015 and President Buhari is fixing things up all the years he is in office.
“President Buhari is working hard to keep Nigeria and Nigerians out of the harm terrorists have unleashed in the entire Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa with the support of Nigerians and our foreign friends, he is going to finish off these terrorists. He alone can do it.”
Earlier on Tuesday, a media aide to former inspector-general of police and ardent supporter of the Buhari administration, Bala Ibrahim, had written a piece in which he advised the president to replace the service chiefs, consoling Mr Buhari that “Changing the service chiefs is therefore not a sign of weakness or loss of confidence. It would be a morale booster to the junior ones, and additional confidence on the ability of the chiefs, to groom their successors.”
His intervention appears to have awakened the legislators on the need to also intervene.