A prominent civil rights gdvocacy group – Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has expressed what it described as strong shock, consternation and disappointment at a statement credited to the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, to the effect that only God can police the Nigerian borders.
HURIWA, in a statement issued Wednesday by its National Coordinator, Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, dismissed CNS’s tepid and heretical and discouraging remarks as the clearest sign of the gross incompetence and crass incapacity on the part of the service chiefs to enforce the minimum demands of their constitutional mandates.
It rejected the statement credited to the CNS, saying such position did not represent that of all the service chiefs, given that the Army Chief, Lieutenant General Yusuf Tukur Buratai, has on many occasions assured Nigerians that the Nigerian Army under his command possessed the necessary capacity and competence to secure the territorial independence and security of Nigerians.
The group urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to determine if the Naval Chief spoke the minds of the entire body and membership of the current National security and defence team, adding that “if that is the case it therefore follows that they should be immediately dismissed for the abysmal lack of the will power to do the needful to safeguard the territorial integrity of Nigeria which is the basic Constitutional demands of their duties as clearly spelt out in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended)”.
HURIWA said it was absolutely intolerable that “a full-fledged military general in whom Nigeria’s tax payers resources have over the past 30 years or so been invested in carrying out varying degrees of professional trainings, retraining, capacity building and other institutional support services to upgrade their qualifications can therefore see that one of such a highly trained Generals that Nigeria has at the top most echelons of the military establishment is engaged in the double speak and the dramatisation of crass incompetence hiding under some incomprehensible but certainly abominable theology of transferring the mandate of practically safeguarding the geographical and territorial sovereignty of Nigeria to the Supreme Being -God as if to say Nigeria is now a theocracy.”
“Nigeria is and remains a federal Republic guided by the provisions of the constitution Of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 of which made no mention of God as the chief border security officer of Nigeria”.
The rights group accused the service chief of running out of idea on what to do to retake the control of all of our national territory from all sorts of armed freelance hoodlums, bandits, kidnappers and Islamic terrorists all of whom have constituted the gravest threats to the Sovereignty of Nigeria and have put our national security on the line.
HURIWA expressed “utter consternation why a professional soldier will play the diversionary religious card of bringing God into the fray when in actual fact what has clearly manifested is that for four years the current federal government has remained unfortunately bereft of functional, effective, efficient and result -oriented strategic mechanisms for defending the territorial independence of Nigeria so constitutional democracy can be sustained over time”.