TEAM OF DRUMMERS IN THE PRESIDENCY, in the cover of presidential aids, media and publicity, led by Femi Adesina, came out with what has been seen as, disingenuous statement, on Tuesday, titled: “Service Chiefs – Position of Presidency on Resolution of the Senate”. That President Buhari, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, will do what is in the best interest of the country at all times.
Femi Adesina, on behalf of the president, was reacting to the resolution of Nigerian Senate, that the present crops of Service Chiefs in the country – Army, Air Force, Navy, Police, Defence and Interior Minister, should be sacked, without further delay. Adesina in the statement was speaking for President Buhari. Who in June 2020, bluntly, told the service chiefs to their faces, that they have outlived their usefulness in his government.
June 18, 2020, at the presidential villa, at a meeting with the security chiefs, President Buhari, sternly, scolded them over failures to curb worsening insecurity in the country. He told the service chief that their best was no longer good enough. That they should adopts new strategies in the war against banditry and insurgency. Security experts, analysists, and Nigerians have, for long, expressed displeasure over continued retention of the service chiefs by the president.
Tuesday, at Senate plenary, Senator Ali Ndume, from Borno State, stated that various reports on the rising number of casualties among Nigerian Army and other security agencies were worrisome. He said: “Just recently, 24 soldiers were ambushed and killed along the Gambua – Maiduguri Road in Borno State. At least, 19 personnel were wounded, while nine were declared missing in action.
“It is disturbing that in Katsina, again about 20 soldiers were also ambushed and killed while several others were wounded. The number of civilian casualties is not known. The senate appreciates the sacrifice of our armed forces in the fight against insurgency, banditry and protection of the territorial integrity of Nigeria and several other security assignments given to them.
“If the trend continues, it will have serious implications on the fight against insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality in the country. Recently, it was alleged that over 236 soldiers voluntarily resigned their engagements with the Nigerian Army,” Ndume told the Senators
Babagana Monguno, National Security Adviser, NSA, led the service chiefs to the meeting with President Buhari, in June. He told journalists after the meeting, when he was asked if the replacement of the service chiefs was imminent, given the president’s concerns about their performance.
He said: “These are issues that only the President can address. I’m just an adviser. It’s up to Mr. President. He has the prerogative to make any change at whatever time he deems fit. Remember, he is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and he is the one, ultimately, who will take this kind of executive decision.
“Mr. President expressed great concern over the declining security situation in the country. He is extremely unhappy about what is happening. He feels that even though the security agencies are doing their best, their best is not good enough for him and he wants an immediate reversal of the current trend and immediate reversal of our misfortunes in all their dimensions.
“Mr. President also told us clearly, in no uncertain terms, that he and indeed the administration campaigned to power on the platform of three issues – fighting insecurity, overcoming our economic difficulties and dealing with the scourge of corruption. More so, he noted that it takes common sense for anyone to understand that without security, the pursuit of the other two will just be an exercise in futility.
“He, therefore, warned the security agencies to take into consideration the wider implication of the gradual descent of the security of the country. He is not going to accept any further escalation of the security situation. He also stated that no one was forced on him. He selected everyone, individually, based on what he feels his records had revealed, and therefore, it is up to individuals to live up to expectations.
“Mr. President also said that it is extremely important that we in the security agencies ensure that we justify the leadership by not disappointing the populace. He pointed out the immediate areas of concern. These areas are interlinked and we must find a way out, especially the issue of the proliferation of drugs, small arms and light weapons”, Monguno said.
IRONICALLY, however, is while President Buhari intends to continue to retain and rely, on theses top security chiefs, he has discredited, to reserve the security quagmire they worsened. The greatest threat to any government in Nigeria, is the penetration of sycophants in that government – be it military or civilian dispensation. Buhari’s government is awash with cascade of self-serving advisers.
The danger to Buhari’s government is the faces of Nigerians who have denied him good governance. He premised his administration’s agenda, when elected president, and sworn into office, May 29, 2015, on the war against corruption, restoring the economy to sound footing and ending insurgency within few months. Five years into his government, political and economic analysts are on the same page, that Buhari’s government has worsen the nation’s future.
The economy has worsened; insecurity has deteriorated; corruption is festering and blazing the trail in his government; and Nigerians in droves are losing their jobs, rather than creating more jobs. And lives are lost in cold-blood from banditry and insurgency. President Buhari has military and dictatorship background. He told the nation that he was a reformed democrat with human face. And would deliver democracy dividend to the people, under his watch.
President Buhari’s government has allowed itself to be penetrated by Nigerians who do not mean well for the country. And has easily forgotten why the government came to power, what it planned to achieve, and how to go about achieving its programme.
The penetration by sycophants in Buhari’s government has been accomplished. The drummers and the cymbals of praise singers have rented the air fully dressed. The music and drums they beat are deafening. And President Buhari no longer listens to the voices of reason.