The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Friday challenged the service chiefs to resign and allow the Federal Government to inject fresh ideas and strategy in the ongoing efforts at tackling the country’s security challenges.
Wike, who made the call during the wreath-laying and parade ceremony to mark the country’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Port Harcourt, also implored the federal government to seek the assistance of the country’s foreign partners in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents, bandits, and other criminal elements terrorizing Nigerians.
He said the inability of the country’s military to effectively tackle the Boko Haram insurgents despite years of full engagement showed that the approaches had failed woefully and fresh strategies required immediately.
The governor stressed that the time has come for the federal government to act decisively against the criminals who have continued to overrun communities in Nigeria with relative ease.
Although Wike acknowledged the efforts made by the security chiefs to rid the country of violence and other security challenges, he argued that the threats posed by the criminals had overwhelmed the country’s security agencies.
The governor said: “A country is as strong as its Armed Forces. Her inability to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency despite years of full military engagement shows that all is not well with our approaches and commitments to the battle against internal insecurity.
“Today, therefore, also raises the need for all of us to be worried by the deteriorating security situation across the country and restate the call on the Federal Government to do everything necessary to bring the security threat by Boko Haram and armed bandits to a decisive end in the shortest time possible.
“We thank the service chiefs for their efforts so far in the battle against the insurgents. But we also align with the concern of citizens that having seemingly reached their wits’ end, they should now give way for fresh hands and ideas to give the fight the impetus that it so strongly needs to ensure that Boko Haram and killer bandits are comprehensively defeated and smoked out of existence.
“The time has come for the Federal Government to stop the pretence, change strategy, seek help from our friends and confront the urgency of the internal insecurity situation in Nigeria with every weaponry at its disposal to stop the killing, free all hostages and improve the physical security of our country for all Nigerians.”
Nigerians had continued to criticize President Muhammadu Buhari over his refusal to sack the service chiefs despite the deteriorating security situation in the country.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives had late last year threatened to impeach the president for turning “deaf hear” to Nigerians’ demand for the service chiefs’ removal.
During one of the Senate sittings last year, a lawmaker openly demanded the sack of the service chiefs, saying they have outlived their usefulness and should give way for young and dynamic military officers to lead the country’s onslaught against the criminals terrorizing Nigerians.
But the presidency last week defended President Buhari’s reluctance to sack the military chiefs.
The Senior Special Assistance on Media and Publicity to the president, Garba Shehu, who appeared on a programme on the Television Continental (TVC), said Buhari “sees what Nigerians do not see in the service chiefs.”
The president, according to him, has total faith in the service chiefs’ ability to lead Nigeria to victory over the Boko Haram insurgents and other criminals in the country.