Youth Groups Oppose Planned Protest against Service Chiefs

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Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Nigerian Students Parliament, Youth Assembly of Nigeria and the Nigerian Youth and Emerging Leaders Forum of Nigeria Thursday kicked against a planned protest to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the head of Nigeria’s security agencies.

Coordinator of the groups and National Chairman of ELFON, Mr Godstime Chukwubuikem, in a briefing in Abuja, told journalists that the move to relieve the security heads of their jobs would further worsen the security situation in the country.

According to the youth groups, the call for the sacking of the service chiefs is not in the best interest of the country, but would further heighten tension in the polity.

Chukwubuikem decried what he described as the politicisation of the matter which had been in the public sphere for weeks, arguing that despite the recent setbacks, the military has substantially degraded the Boko Haram sect.

He added that under the current leadership of the Nigerian military and despite several constraints of modern fighting equipment and poor financing, the armed forces had striven to stabilise the country and stop the surging criminals.

“We are aware that our dear nation is bedevilled by numerous security challenges , but we are also aware of the spirited efforts by the military, police and other security agencies to deal with the security threats.

“ However, the call for protest against the service chiefs and the call for sacking of the service chiefs is not done in the best interest of the nation. It is the highest form of politicisation and stultification of security in Nigeria.

“Despite the recent setbacks in the war against terrorism, it is obvious that there are obvious achievements recorded under the current military leadership. The service chiefs have done a lot to stabilise our democracy and security which are needed for development” he said.

The youth groups maintained that the appointment and removal of the service chiefs remain the prerogative of the president and advised Nigerians not to stampede Buhari into making rash decisions.

While disassociating the youth groups from the public protest, the organisations wondered whose interests the protesters were serving , maintaining that the decision to remove service chiefs should be jettisoned.

“ We openly strongly dissociate ourselves from the planned protest for the removal of the heads of the armed forces of Nigeria and we urge all Nigerians to resist the misadventure that is the politically induced removal of service chiefs.

“We urge all to support and rally round the President , Muhammadu Buhari and the leaders of the armed forces of our great country to hasten the total defeat of the insurgents, terrorists and bandits in our country.

“We say ‘no’ to political interference in our security matters and to the planned protest against the military leadership in Nigeria. “ the youth bodies insisted.

There had been a groundswell of calls for the sack of the security chiefs following the growing insecurity in the country, prompting the Presidency to call for a halt in the planned protest and describing the protesters as hired.