Sack of Service Chiefs at this time, great impunity ― Southern, Middlebelt leaders

• Say action can only bring little correction to damages already inflicted

Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) on Tuesday reacted to the sack of the Service Chiefs and their replacement by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the removal, at this time, as a great impunity, just as it pointedly declared that there was little correction their eventual removal could do to damages already caused by the belated action.

President Buhari had in an unexpected move on Tuesday, announced the sacked the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

The president, in replacing the sacked Service Chiefs, appointed Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

SMBLF said, in a short statement made available to the Nigerian Tribune by one of its leaders, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, that there was no national interest or patriotic reason to hold on to failures for that long.

“Groups and prominent individuals in the country had on several occasions, called for the sack of the country’s Service Chiefs and their replacement, saying the that the affected people, apart from having attained their retirement age long before now, had failed to properly tackle the spate of insecurity ravaging the country, ever since President Buhari came into office.

“The long delay in removing the former Service Chiefs was a great impunity that their eventual removal at this time cannot pay for as there is little redemption in the belated action. There was no national interest or patriotic reason to hold on to failures for that long,” Odumakin said.

Speaking in a telephone chat with our correspondent, Odumakin, said nothing in the list of the newly appointed Service Chiefs, suggested that the team was northernized or whatever, however, said it would be puerile for anybody to set a task for the new team.

According to him, this is so because President Buhari and his team regarded all the citizens as subservient, who should have no say in the matter.

“Well, we saw nothing to suggest that this new team are Fulani. The appointment has not suggested that, but we have to dig out more to know from where the people are coming from. But clearly at this stage, we cannot say he has Northernized the new team.

“We know that Nigerians have no say on this matter. Buhari and his team regard us, they are just making us all subservient,” he said.

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