The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), on Wednesday, said it will require more than the appointment of new Service Chiefs to fix Nigeria’s security challenges and warns the nation against being misled into thinking that these changes will dramatically change the nation’s fortunes in its fight against multiple security threats.
In a press release made available to journalists in Abuja, by the NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the NEF welcomes the appointment of the new service chiefs, noting that the change was not an end in itself, but a means to a better security, adding that it would, therefore, require President Muhammadu Buhari’s active involvement and interest in their conduct, records and performances for the country to win the war against insurgency and other threats.
TheFact Nigeria recalls that the Buhari-led Administration had been subjected to heavy criticism over his handling of the security situation in recent times, which has led to massive killing and wanton destruction of property across the country.
The NEF posited that for the new Service Chiefs to be a lot more effective, President Buhari must reduce his distance from defence and security matters, and hold Service Chiefs and senior commanders accountable for successes and failures.
The Forum expressed their belief that the priorities of the new Service Chiefs should include real improvements in professional standards and morale of fighting men and women, as well as fighting corruption within the Armed Forces.
“They will be aware that our frustrations regarding access to vital weapons and criticisms from foreign and domestic monitors of the war are related to the manner our Armed Forces execute the war, and it will be important for them to lead a military which will operate with higher standards of respect for rules of engagement”, the statement read.
With regards to the argument that the new security heads were part of the military that was severely challenged in the battle against insecurity, and therefore might not make any meaningful impact, the Forum maintained that the Service Chiefs stood a chance of retaining public confidence, if they improved on the records of their predecessors.
The Forum invites citizens’ attention to the need to rise in support of leaders to reduce tensions and other threats to security, while also calling on Nigerians to “eschew the temptation to tamper with sensitive matters in pursuit of narrow goals”.