By Ndubuisi Michaels
A former Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Alhaji Muhammadu Ari Gwaska, believes President Muhammadu Buhari is following United States of America’s (USA) lead on tenure elongation of Service Chiefs to defeat terrorism.
The National Chairman, Pro-Nigeria Elders Council (PRONECO), says it isn’t entirely strange for heads of security architecture to remain in office longer than expected, as the U.S. and other top nations have adopted this strategy at different times to quench insurgency.
According to Alhaji Gwaska, it is unhealthy to change competent and trustworthy hands at a critical time as when there is an ongoing war against terrorism.
The elder statesman made this disclosure after an all-inclusive stakeholders meeting to brainstorm on the state of security in the country.
In 2018, President Donald Trump extended the high year tenure for senior Air Force officers through technical sergeants beginning Feb. 1, 2019.
Similarly, Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, last year, approved an extension in the tenure of Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa for another three years in “view of regional security environment”.
This was the second time in nearly a decade that the country’s top general had their traditional three-year term extended.
Gwaska noted that Buhari is only taking a leaf from the rest of the world by keeping hold of the Service Chiefs who displayed bravery, gallantry and patriotism.
In his words, “We salute the choice of Mr. President’s appointees manning the security architecture of the country. We resolved that the Security Chiefs have not only refused to shirk in the face of all difficulties, sabotage of their gallant efforts, but have continued to determinedly tackle even renewed atrocities of insurgencies and insurrections with renewed zeal and vigor.
“Therefore, we resolved that all our serving security chiefs have performed exceeding marvelous individually and collectively in the light of subsisting encumbrances’ and deserves not only to be encouraged, but maintained on their positions to sustain the winning streaks against Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist and armed bandits up again to torment the country.
“We perceive the calls by the National Assembly (NASS) and some other questionable characters for the sack of the Service and Security Chiefs as exposure of their veiled conspiracy or manifestation of their insidious plans to finally sink Nigeria in internecine clashes of bloodletting. The meeting therefore resolved that Nigerians owe themselves the moral obligation to discountenanced such campaigns as cajoling Mr. President to sack Security Chiefs smacks of mischief and greasing the evil nest of these unpatriotic elements.
“It is condemnable and unacceptable because the efforts of current Security Chiefs are worthy of commendation anywhere in the world. Consequently, the meeting wholeheartedly commends their efforts, as we urge Mr. President never to harken to such satanic calls for their sack, as it will create a lacuna and embolden armed enemies to freely feast on Nigeria.
“The meeting observed and unequivocally affirms that it has also come to the knowledge of this gathering of these wisemen that there are multi-layered deliberate campaigns of calumny are being sponsored by some highly placed individuals in the country. Such are backed by some renegade members of the ruling APC in order to destabilize the nation because they are personally aggrieved for falling out of favour/patronage with the present government.
“The meeting called on the politicians and other disgruntled elements who are still nursing the wounds of defeat and rejection by the Nigerian masses, in the 2019 general elections; and have resorted to kick-start very early political activities ahead of 2023 should be mindful of the distractions it has implanted in the polity by the method they have employed. We see it as part of ploys, exacerbating insecurities in parts of the country backed by foreign interference and the glaring agenda to destroy Nigeria.”