Removal of Service Chiefs not answer to Nigeria’s security challenges ― Ex-Perm Sec, Usman

A retired Permanent Secretary in the Presidency and prolific writer, Dr Bukar Usman has faulted those clamouring for the removal of Service Chiefs as an antidote to the current security challenges confronting the nation.

He insisted that the military and indeed the country has the capacity to overcome the challenges, pointing out that fighting non-state actors could not be the job of Service Chiefs only.

Usman spoke on Tuesday in Abuja at the public presentation of a book, “Africa’s Security Challenges in the 21st Century” authored by a former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran.

At the event, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said Nigeria, in spite of the challenges, has a very bright future and would emerge stronger from the current quagmire.

While noting that security challenges was not peculiar to Nigeria, Usman who was the chairman of the book launch, said this was why the author looked beyond Nigeria, saying, however, that the country needs to develop home-grown solutions to the challenges rather than looking up to the developed countries of the world.

He said: “In Nigeria we personalise things. When they recruited some of these leaders in the military, they did not do it on the basis of where you come from and they cannot be there indefinitely.

“But some people are calling for the removal of the Service Chiefs because they feel these people have been there, remove them and fix some people; no. They are not the ones fighting. The people who are fighting are in thousands.

“When I served as Permanent Secretary, I stayed for eleven years as a Permanent Secretary. People did not tell me that you are from this part of the country, you should go. We should be patient, they will definitely go even if they stay for 10 years but for now let us face our problems.”

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, in his remarks, said Nigerians should not lose hope in the current administration, saying the country would soon surmount the challenges and emerge stronger.

He called for the restoration of the nation’s lost values of honest, hard work and pursuit of excellence epitomised by the author, Professor Adeniran.

He described Adeniran as a role model for Nigerian youths to emulate while stressing that more than 60 per cent of Nigeria are youths that are of great assets far above the value of what crude oil and other mineral resources could bring into the development of the country.

Onu said what is necessary was to build their scientific and technological skills for them to be globally competitive.

A former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Segun Oni, Senator Ajayi Boroffice and other speakers at the event eulogised the author for his honesty, hard work and strive for excellence.

Prof. Adeniran said security is key and that it had been his strategic area and as such, he was inspired to write the book going by the current serious security challenges confronting the continent and the need to proffer solution.

“What we are going through now nationally, worldwide is a very serious challenge and we need to do something about it. The leaders need to do more work,” he said.

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