In less than a month, the Senate has had cause to come hard on the Service chiefs over the exacerbating insecurity in several parts of the country.
Irked by the increased insecurity across the country, the Senators had on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, called for the sack of the Service chiefs on grounds that they have served long enough and are bereft of ideas to tackle insecurity.
Contributing to a motion on national security challenges and the need to restructure the nation’s security architecture, Senator Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers) said at the time the service chiefs were appointed, things were not as bad as they are presently.
“They have done their bits and their tenure has expired. They are illegally occupying the seat. It will be good for the government to allow the security chiefs to go and bring in new people to add vigour to the fight against security,” she said.
The debate which lasted for over four hours on the floor of the Upper Legislative chamber with over 50 Senators taking turns to make contributions, ended with a call on President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve the service chiefs of their appointments and bring on board fresh hands.
As if that was not enough, the Red Chamber, again, on Thursday, February 13, 2020, called President Buhari in his capacity as Commander – in Chief of the Armed Forces, to wield the big stick by holding security chiefs accountable for the continued security infractions in the country.
The President was asked to relieve the security chiefs of their positions if they can no longer proffer solution to the wanton destruction of lives, properties and economic activities by incessant security challenges that has bedeviled the country.
This followed the killing of not less than 30 persons in Auno, Borno State on Sunday, February 9, 2020 by Boko Haram insurgents.
At the plenary on Thursday, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had in a veiled reference, said appointees of government who failed to meet their job targets should be relieved of such appointments.
Lawan said: “Time has come for us to ensure that governance is done like it is business. You employ someone, give the person a target. He accepts on the basis of the fact that he can meet the target. If he doesn’t meet the target and there is no cogent explanation or reasons why he fails, then he should go. When we hold people responsible, they are likely to perform better. We totally agree with the Senate President.
We are of the opinion that nothing mirrors the performance of the Service chiefs as the parlous state security across the country presently, a reason they should be held accountable as the latest Senate motion demands.
As inferred by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, we as a nation will continue to lose as long as sanctions are not meted out to government officials charged with critical responsibilities, security inclusive, who fail to deliver on their mandates. We must not excuse failure. Public officials elected or appointed who for one reason or the other fail to perform over time should not wait until they are booted out of office. They should not wait until the country collapse due to their failings. They can take the honourable path by resigning their appointments so as to create space for fresh and capable persons to be appointed in their stead.
President Buhari must realise that as long as insurgency, kidnapping, armed robberies and other security breaches exacerbate across the country, no excuse for the Service chiefs remaining in office will be acceptable to Nigerians. We therefore join the Senate in urging him to hold the Service chief accountable for the continued security infractions in the country. If they fail to meet his mandate, then they should be shown the door.