Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Segun James in Lagos
A former Director of the Department of the State Services (DSS), Mr. Mike Ejiofor, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve the leadership of some of the various security agencies of their position as a means of improving the performance of these organisations in the fight against insecurity in the country.
He said a situation where high -profile military officers were kidnapped and killed showed the state of insecurity in the country.
Speaking Wednesday on the Arise News, a sister broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspaper, Ejiofor said the tenure of some of the Service Chiefs had expired.
“For me if you continue to do the same thing, the same way you can’t expect a different result. Some of the Service Chiefs have overstayed – their tenures have expired but they are still being retained. So, I think it is time we need to try new hands but because of politics I think the government doesn’t have the political will to do this,” he said.
The ex-DSS boss cautioned that the country cannot afford to play politics with its security. According to him, the bulk of the security concerns over the forthcoming general elections is caused by the actions and behaviours of politicians from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP).
“Well it is going to be a very challenging year. In 2018 you have listed the crises and challenges we have, which the government is trying to address but you know the problems and challenges we expect in 2019 because of the election, I believe, are self-made and self-inflicted because these could be avoided. You see the way politicians go about their campaigns. We expect them to campaign on issues but they are busy attacking each other. We should not forget that we have about 90 political parties but the prominent ones causing the real security challenges are the PDP and APC and the reasons are obvious.”
“APC want to retain power, claiming that PDP has been in power for the past 16 years and PDP having left power for over four years want to come back. There is nothing wrong with that; that is democracy but my fears are that as stated in our constitutions, the primary purpose and responsibility of government is the security and welfare of the people.
“You can’t divorce politics from security but at the same time we can’t be playing politics with our security, which is exactly what is happening. “People are playing politics with our security system which is very dangerous. Security is a collective effort of the whole people and it shouldn’t be left for government alone but the government on its part also has promised as one of its cardinal projects to provide security for the people but we are not there yet. You listed the challenges; you look at Borno State for instance the Boko Haram is overwhelming the military what are the reasons? You go to Zamfara people are been killed daily. Herdsmen whom I don’t call herdsmen – I call them terrorist, which I believe is an extension of Boko Haram, all over the country and we are preparing for an election. The problems are so much and I think the earlier the government addresses the issues the better for them as we are going into elections,” Ejiofor explained.
Ejiofor disclosed that the military is ill-equipped to handle the current security challenges in the country.
“We have in place the multinational joint taskforce and they seem not to be effective anymore and then we need to change tactics and it is not just changing – the government should also come out to equip the military. I think they are ill equipped; they are not fully functional as they supposed