Service Chiefs: Don’t Rejoice Yet, ACF Tells Nigerians

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By Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

The spokesman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Emmanuel Yawe, has commended President Mohammadu Buhari for finally heeding the call of Nigerians by sacking the Service Chiefs.

The ACF spokesman however added that Nigerians should not rejoice yet.

President Buhari had Tuesday sacked the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

He replaced them with Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

Speaking in a telephone interview on Tuesday afternoon, Yawe said, “Indeed, they had overstayed their welcome; I understand that some Junior Officers were retired prematurely because the Service Chiefs refused to move out of the way. I think the country is better for it.”

Yawe said that whether the change will bring the desired improvement in the country’s security situation was a different ball game, as it will depend on their replacement.

He said, “It will depend on the people that will be used to replace them. If the people coming in will perform well, the country will be better for it, but if they’ll perform as poorly as the ones that have just left, then we are in deep shit; we may be running from frying pan to fire.

He added that “President Mohammadu Buhari, like the other one we had when we returned to democracy is a retired General, so he knows the workings of the military. So, some us that are not so conversant with military matters should be careful to comment on it.

“But there were complaints generally, ACF had also complained about the security situation in the country, particularly in the North; people are being killed, kidnapped, and robbed. Even in the President’s home state, over 300 students were adopted. So, these things were not correct. It was on the basis of the level of insecurity that people were complaining and asking the President to change the Service Chiefs because they were not performing. Now that he has changed them, I think he has done the correct thing and yielded to the cries of the people.”