By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Nigerian Christian Youth Assembly (NCYA) has thrown its weight behind Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, for fostering synergy amongst the different military components.
The group maintained that Olonisakin involvement in military, has proven to be the catalyst in their numerous operations.
In a statement co-signed by the President and its Secretary-General respectively, Rev Philip Attah and Pastor Stephen Onwu, the appointment of Gen. Olonisakin in July 2015 is the turning point in the fight against insurgency and other criminal elements that once bedevilled the nation.
According to the group, this was achieved through the Defence Chief’s coordination and cooperation amongst the different units of the military as well as restructuring of its operations strategically.
In view of this, the Christian youths believes Gen. Olonisakin and the military chiefs would have to continue on the job, adding that apart from pockets of security challenges, it is nothing compared to five years ago.
The group, however, rejected the call for their dismissal, describing it as disservice to the place of merit, hard work and professionalism.
Going further, the group added that this is the handiwork of mischiefmakers, embarking on the campaign as a way of displaying their total disdain for Christians in leadership positions across the country.
The Christian youths, therefore, vowed to defend attempts to rubbish Service Chiefs’ performance on religious bias.
The statement reads in part: ‘’We at The Nigerian Cristian Youth Assembly cannot forget in a hurry the attacks by insurgents in the early days of the war against Boko Haram how they over run several towns, communities and many local governments. We do not forget in a hurry in some instances where they carted away many young children with them, they hoisted flags, in some instances made laws and even set up courts for judging offenders. That was how bad the situation was then.
‘’We should not forget the calm that the military has brought to the once restive Niger Delta region. Activities such as oil bunkering, oil theft, high sea piracy, illegal refining and a host of other criminal activities in that region has largely been stemmed by the military.
‘’We feel that the focus of the anti-service chief campaigners is no doubt targeted at Gen Abayomi Olonisakin who is the head of the defense architecture. These mischief makers are embarking on the campaign as a way of displaying their total disdain for Christians in leadership positions across the country and we wish to strongly condemn it.
‘’We encourage Nigerians to emulate other countries where the very best of the country’s senior personnel are retained for as long as they are ready to serve, our case should not be any different .
‘’We fear that sacking the service chiefs now will erode the gains of all the reforms being institutionalized in the country’s armed forces.’’