Governor Umahi opposes sacking of service chiefs

Governor Umahi opposes sacking of service chiefs

Ebonyi state Governor, David Umahi has opposed the call by Native Assembly that the service chiefs should sacked.

Our correspondent was present when Umahi made the disclosure on Wednesday while performing the ground breaking ceremony of Army Reference Hospital in Abakaliki which will serve the entire South-east.

The governor argued that the present service chiefs are committed to defending the territorial integrity of the country.

He said: “I want to disagree with the National Assembly, in my own views, about the change of service chiefs. One thing I have realised is that we like change too much in this country.

“We want everybody to thirst every seat.

“That is not what we need at this critical time of our security challenges. What we need is cooperation with the security agencies.

“Without undermining the former inspector generals, this Inspector General is a very different human being. He is a very stubborn man but stubborn to the policies and law of the land. And that is the person this country needs”. The Chief of Army staff is also a very committed person. Very friendly to the civil society.”

Mr Umahi said what the Service Chiefs require at the moment is more information from the populace and increased funding and logistics support from government.

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He said sacking the service chiefs now may derail the fight against insurgency and criminality as their successors may take some time learning the ropes.

“So what this people need is cooperation, information. It is difficult for people to do anything without information. This is very important. And at this stage even when you change, whoever you bring is going to learn the ropes. And I believe that whatever decisions the service chiefs are not taking by them alone they are taken by also the senior officers.”

“So I will be suggesting to Mr President in support of his retaining the service chiefs that we should increase their funding of the armed forces, we should increase their logistics, we should increase the program that will bring information to the security agencies”.

“So I support Mr President that instead of changing the service chiefs to rather increase their funding and increase the frequency of his meetings with them. And also encourage the civil society to come up with information that will assist the security agencies”, he said.

Mr Umahi also described as unfortunate the recent attack on the convoy of Borno state Governor, Babagana Zulum by insurgents.

“It is very unfortunate that my colleague was ambushed and I thank the Army the ay the way they responded with very high level of humility and great undertaking”, he said.

The Chief of Army staff, Tukur Buratai commended the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army for their gallantry in operations across the country.

He said the Military has made remarkable progress in fight against insurgency, millitancy, oil bunkering, kidnapping and other acts of criminality across the country.

While praying for the souls of the departed officers who lost their lives in defending the country, Mr Buratai urged the officers to remain professional in performing their duties.

The Chief of Army Staff, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Lamidi Adeosun said the Reference Hospital, when completed, will reduce the loss of valuable time and stress usually experienced in transporting injured soldiers to tertiary hospitals outside the zone.

The hospital, according to him, will provide tertiary care to all formations of the Army within the Southeast and South South zones of the country.

By Charles Onyekwere

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Olamide Francis

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