By Salamatu Adebayo
We mothers cannot commend President Muhammadu Buhari enough as on the 5th March 2021, he decorated the new service chiefs with their new ranks.
Those decorated are General LEO Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS); Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff (COAS); Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS).
According to the President “I have charged the new Service Chiefs to keep in mind that the nation is looking to them for rapid relief. They must identify competent officers irrespective of seniority and paper qualifications, and work with them to secure this country. As C-in-C I am backing them 100 percent.
“As I assured at our last security meeting, I have taken responsibility as C-in-C for them to go out into the fields and every part of the country, to ensure peace and security. I have accepted responsibility for all actions taken in fulfillment of the mandate to secure Nigeria.
This signals the President’s confidence in the ability of the new service chiefs.
Earlier on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, Nigerians sighed with relief as President Buhari announced their appointment as new service chiefs.
Though there had been numerous calls to the president to change the security chiefs as a result of increasing security challenges across the country, President Buhari in his New Year message acknowledged that the security apparatus needed to be altered.
Those that clamoured for the rejig of the security architecture, believed that changing the security apparatus would be key to winning the war against the Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling, among others.
Since the announcement of the new service chiefs, many stakeholders had commended Buhari for the change, and hoped that the new appointees would live up to expectation.
Nigeria’s military has come under severe criticism for its failings in a running battle with Boko Haram insurgents and terrorists, in the North East.
While the military was making progress in the fight against the terrorists in the North East, then comes in insecurity across the states on Nigeria’s northern borders – Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Borno, among others.
The appointment of these new service chiefs, we believe is a welcome development, it shows that President Muhammadu Buhari as one that listens to the citizens.
We, Mothers for United Nigeria (MUN) know in the affirmative that the new appointees will bring new ideas into the Nigerian security sector by reappraising the entire internal security architecture with a view to rejigging operational tactics and reconnaissance.
In the interest of the country and moves by this government to tackle insecurity, the new Service Chiefs should not politicise security by aligning with politicians. What the country needs now is competence and professionalism that will reduce insecurity to the barest minimum.
MUN is calling for public support for the new Military Chiefs as they perform their constitutional roles of protecting our country’s territorial integrity and tackles emerging security threats; as recent incidents in the country have triggered divisive rhetorics in some quarters. It is counter-productive and dangerous to national security when we put ethnic bias to issues affecting us.
As the new service chiefs hit the ground running, they should deepen inter-agency cooperation among the security forces and create a robust military-civil relationship that will invest in timely response to any report or information by the attacked communities or those who fear that they may be attacked by Boko Haram terrorists or other hoodlums.
As experienced theater commanders in the battle field in different locations in the North East, we have no thought that they will adopt new standards of operation and war strategies that will be unbearable, disastrous or to Boko Haram Terrorists, kidnappers, bandits, separatists and their likes.
There is a huge disconnect between the people and its armed forces and this clearly suggests that information is not adequate and has a huge potential of drifting citizens into a deeper resentment with the security institutions. In this case, the first approach is to dwell more on intelligence led response. This will save money, time and casualties.
As a nation, our strength remains in our diversity and we should continue to forge unity in that diversity. We urge peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding among Nigerians irrespective of the part of the country we chose to live and work.
Their appointment demanded huge sense of commitment, responsibility and determination to rescue Nigeria from the hands of its enemies and restore it to a peaceful nation as it was in the past. Let us come together and allow these Professionals do their jobs.
Furthermore, we mothers remain hopeful that our son’s and husband’s of the Armed Forces of Nigeria engaged in one security duty or the other will not only come out stronger, our country will also come out of the present challenges.
Hajia Salamatu Adebayo is Publicity Secretary, Mothers for United Nigeria (MUN)