There indications that those calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve the current Service Chiefs of their appointments may have to wait longer as Presidency said it will be inappropriate to sack them now.
Secretary to the government of the Federation SGF , Boss Mustapha dropped the hint on Tuesday, when he declared that it was not yet time for the President to act on it.
The SGF who dropped the hint at a public presentation of a book entitled ‘CAN, Religion and Power in Nigeria’ at the National Christian Centre, Abuja on Tuesday, noted that there are procedures to be followed, adding that “at the opportune time, those processes will be followed.”
This is coming days after the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai had declared in Lagos , that sacking the Service Chiefs won’t end the current insecurity Buratai, a Lieutenant General was quoted as saying that “the commander-in-chief is the right arbiter, and he knows where it pinches, he knows where the problems are. I think the decision should be left to him. He should not be pushed or prompted in this regard,”
Sections 218 of the 1999 Nigerian constitution, and section 18 of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A.20, Laws of the Federation, confers powers on the President to appoint the service chiefs, but subject to confirmation and the approval of the National Assembly.
The Constitution is however silent on how they can be removed , even as the President has also powers to extend their appoints for a period of six months.
The last extension made public by the President through a Statement on July 13th, 2019, expired in January , this year, even as the President is yet to renew their appointments
But the SGF while speaking at the occasion, “I don’t think this is appropriate for this forum; you don’t sack people like that. There are processes and I believe that at the opportune time, those processes will be followed”
He noted that the country was going through a very difficult time now, adding that “We need everybody to be on board. We need synergy within the intelligence community, within the military formations that will help fight this war. We are in a very difficult situation and when we begin to create cracks and divisions, who will be the beneficiaries? The adversaries are the ones that are going to exploit those deficiencies and further the cause of destabilising the nation.
“At this moment, we need everybody to be on the same page, fight the battle of securing the nation, protecting lives and property and ensuring that every Nigerian has the opportunity to live a prosperous life. I think that should be our main focus”
The book was written by a former General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Samuel Salifu.
Tony Ailemen, Abuja