On The Appointment Of New Service Chiefs

On The Appointment Of New Service Chiefs
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There was a fresh vista in the nation’s military hierarchy with the appointment of new service chiefs by President Muahammadu Buhari who extolled the doggedness and commitment of the former chiefs  in ensuring an indivisible, united Nigeria, which is threatened by terrorism, banditry, herders and farmers clash, insurgency and sundry security challenges.

Indeed, it was a herculean task for the outgone service chiefs who were excruciatingly beset by so many issues bordering on the nation’s security. It is not unexpected if many reluctantly gave kudos to them, stressing that they understood the enormity of the task ahead as soon as they were appointed. They also push the expectations notches higher by insisting that failure was not an option, knowing the desperation of the nation. However, we are informed that the Presidency gave an implicit pass mark to the outgone service chiefs who incidentally had overstayed their supposed tenures, having been due for retirement before now.


Against the backdrop of public outcry by a cross-section of Nigerians and even the National Assembly that the service chiefs had over-reached their capacity, with attendant diminishing returns, the President continued to repose confidence in them by keeping them in the lead of the counter-insurgency.

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You will recall that the outgone service chiefs were screened by the Senate in line with the Armed Forces Act as against the new service chiefs whose appointment was announced without the Senate screening which we all know as to “fulfill all righteousness” but it’s very important. Nigerians are not aware of the promise and resume of the service chiefs so as to hold them to it.

AljazirahNigeria appreciates the coming of the new service chiefs who have an onerous task ahead. The stakes are high, even as their integrity and loyalty to the nation is being put to test. While, we congratulate them for being found worthy for these exalted offices, we would be quick to remind them that they must put their hat in the ring and hit the ground running so as to justify their appointments.

We expect that there will be synergy between the offices and due respect accorded to the head among them. We frown at a repeat of internal wrangling and the outshining attitude exhibited in the past which affected the coordinated fight against insurgents.

We must remind them that their unflinching loyalty must be first to the nation rather than any ethnic or religious bias. It is worrisome how some ethnic and religious connotations are already being drawn into their appointments which ordinarily is a professional issue. We are averse to the congratulatory messages to some of these officers where the sources applaud the appointees as “one of their own’’, thus rubbing on some ethnic or religious colouration. They are to be selfless to the extent that Nigeria only should remain their constituency.

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We urge them to sift from the numerous underlying and yet to be tackled challenges confronted by their predecessors and seek urgent response in order to firm up confidence reposed in them. Also, their roles are not envious but they must not be deterred by the seeming renewed onslaught by the insurgents and rabble-rousers in the wake of their appointments where scores of lives were reportedly lost and many abducted. It is only a wakeup call and the urgent need to brace the odds and tackle the situation swiftly.

AljazirahNigeria is not unaware of concerns that there is a need for more and indeed sophisticated equipment for the services to tackle the unrelenting push of the nation’s enemies as we urge the authorities to ensure that the service chiefs are adequately equipped to confront the situation with necessary professionalism.

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It is also imperative to draw the attention of the new chiefs to the urgency in putting on the front burner, the issue of welfare of officers and men in their jurisdiction. Previous reports of dwindling welfare packages for officers is not reinforcing but can be counter-productive as a disgruntled workforce is as dangerous as the enemy in the theatre of war.

There are reports of infiltration of the various military formations by enemies of the state whose men find their ways into the system, even as some have clandestine affinity to devious elements. There is therefore a need to engage in rigorous internal intelligence, aimed at checking moles in the system.

We believe that by expanding intelligence in all formations of the military, in addition to exploring due diligence when enlistment exercises are being carried out, the issue of infiltration of the ranks will be minimised.


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