President Bola Tinubu expectedly has appointed new Service Chiefs, after sacking all the incumbents, even as Advisers and Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service who was not a career appointee were also removed.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has approved the immediate retirement of all Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, Advisers, Comptroller-General of Customs from Service as well as their replacements with immediate effect”, a statement signed by Willie Bassey, director of information, Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation was issued to signal the new beginning.
The erstwhile service chiefs who were appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in somewhat controversial circumstances after several calls for the replacement of their predecessors.
However, it would be another matter for thorough scrutiny if the service chiefs of the Buhari tenure had performed above board and this would not be our main focus here. One thing is however instructive: The doggedness and determination of the service chiefs would naturally point the direction of the nation against insecurity and related issues. Our drive against insecurity would be obvious if the out gone service chiefs had performed enough, leaving no room for permutations as to whether much was achieved or otherwise.
Some analysts tagged the sack or retirement of the service chiefs as ‘operation hurricane’ as if it was an unusual move. It has been standard practice for a change of guards each time a new president is in the saddle. Indeed, the appointment and sack of the service chief is a constitutional prerogative of the President and Commander-in-Chief. It is also not unexpected given sustained outcry from several stakeholders that the service chiefs had been overwhelmed by indulgences which overshadowed their professional capacity.
While we are wary that the appointees still await confirmation of the National Assembly, NASS, the very first necessary step taken by President Tinubu is commendable even as we hope that the tempo would be sustained by giving the new service chiefs a marching order for an onslaught against insecurity that has eaten into our socio-economic fabrics.
We do hope that the government in settling for these new crop of officers must have relied well on their professional good track records to bring them to these enviable but tasking positions. While we have not done any integrity and performance checks on these appointees, it is too early in the day to point out any lapses.
It should not be business as usual for the service chiefs from whom much is expected. They must justify the confidence reposed in them by exhibiting the highest level of professionalism in this fresh assignments.
There is a general need to be cautious in carrying out more sensitive appointments ahead, such that we do not politicize them and sacrifice same on the altar of nepotism.
The new appointees must step up the game against insecurity far from the lack luster approach of their predecessors who have hardly earned kudos from any quarters, even as we urge them to purge moles bootlickers within their respective services so as to enhance excellence.
They must be ready to redeem fast diminishing glory of the services which were once revered for their pristine discipline and professionalism.