The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has asked the Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali to request redeployment to another ministry if he is not comfortable working with the current Military Service Chiefs saying it is important issued around the nation’s security cannot be politicised now that the situation of the country remains sensitive for what could be a costly mistake.
The group in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to graciously accede once the Defence Minister puts in such request.
The statement by CNPP’s Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu expressed concern that the kind of meddlesomeness being exhibited by Alhaji Dan’ali showed that there is an undeclared issue between him and the service chiefs and that such frosty relationship had been in part responsible for the poor response to the activities of Boko Haram in the past. CNPP’s statement was apparent reaction to the committee recently set up by the minister.
It said “The international cohesion of the military and the independence to rely on its own command structure has never been violated even during peacetime so it is alarming that a Minister of Defence will now deliberately take actions that can unsettle the situation at a time when troops are engaged in full blown war.
“While we recognise the constitutional provision that allows the President to delegate powers to ministers, what Alhaji Dan’ali did is clearly beyond his approval limit and should only have come from Mr President directly.
“But for the minister to have launched straight from inactivity into this destructive mode portrays grave dangers that can only be neutralised by his departure from the post. Mr President should not have any sentimental attachment to retaining him in that portfolio since he can be deployed to another ministry where he would be more comfortable and be able to meaningfully contribute to nation building.
“Mr President should consider swapping Alhaji Dan’ali with the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau for greater efficiency.
“A further indicator that the incumbent Defence Minister may find another ministry more fulfilling is the limited intervention from him so far in shielding the military services from constant harassment from international NGOs in the course of carrying out their duties. He has also been, possibly unwittingly, making statements that tend to give powers to insurgents against the military operations,” the conference noted.
It however urged the military commands and Service Chiefs to overlook the minister’s shortcomings and continue to focus on the mission of stamping out terrorism from Nigeria.