The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) have warned Nigerians not to expect a dramatic change in the nation’s security situation following the appointment of new Service Chiefs.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday 26th January appointed new Service Chiefs following an outcry from the public concerning the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Northern Elders in a signed by its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed said President Buhari must reduce his distance from defence and security matters.
The Forum also urged the President to hold Service Chiefs and senior commanders accountable for successes and failures.
While Commending the President for the changes, the Elders said Nigerians will hope that these changes, even if belated, are intended as a response to the persistent demands for changes at leadership levels as part of the requirements to improve professionalism, morale and integrity of command structures of our Armed Forces.
“The Forum warns the nation not be misled into thinking that these changes will dramatically change the nation’s fortunes in its fight against multiple security threats.
“The new Service Chiefs will be a lot more effective if they are inspired by a Commander-In-Chief who adopts an involved and active interest in their conduct, records and performances.
“President Buhari must therefore reduce his distance from defence and security matters, and hold Service Chiefs and senior commanders accountable for successes and failures.
“The new Service Chiefs have been part of the military that has been severely challenged in the fight against a decade-old insurgency and many other threats,” NEF said.
NEF said the only way the new Service Chiefs can retain the confidence of Nigerians is to substantially improve on the records of their predecessors.
The Forum said it believes that priorities of the new Service Chiefs should include real improvements in professional standards and morale of fighting men and women as well 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 Forum invites the nation’s attention to the need to rise in support of leaders to reduce tensions and other threats to our security,” the statement added.
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