President Muhammadu Buhari has been called on by the Northern Elders Forum to exercise leadership as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, following the appointment of the new service chiefs on Tuesday.
The forum noted that the appointment of the service chiefs is not enough to bring the needed change in the fight against insurgency unless Buhari leads by example.
The spokesperson of NEF, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed while speaking with Channels TV on Wednesday said, “The key is the president, he has to change his attitude to the defence and security of this country. You cannot run this country with all these security challenges and maintain the distance that he maintains with what is going on. You listen to the president and his spokespeople are telling you the situation is better than it was in 2015. It is a very disturbing thing when you hear this.”
“There are no suicide bombings now but the population of Nigerians living under Boo Haram is large, huge and unacceptable.”
The forum further stated that there won’t be any change if President Buhari decides to led the new service chiefs the same way he led the former commanders.
Baba-Ahmed added, “At last, it appeared that the President has considered that it is time for him to appoint new service chiefs.”
“Our hope is that he is not just responding to public opinion but he himself acknowledges the fact that all service chiefs have run out of steam. Their leadership did not produce the results it was intended to produce.”
“But we don’t the nation to be carried away. It is important that the Armed Forces have a new leadership but they have a huge task and it has to start from the president.”
“We have a Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. The president has a responsibility to lead the new service chief in a better way than he did in the past. He needs to recognise the fact that he has a role.”
“He (Buhari) needs to have a closer eye on what is going on and hold the new service chiefs accountable to make sure that the changes are brought into the military in terms of conduct, professionalism, integrity, the morale of the fighting forces and change in tactics.”
“If these new service chiefs are led in the same manner the president exercised the distance between him and the conflict that the military is fighting, we are going to have the same problem.”
Baba-Ahmed also said Nigerians would know if the president made the right choices in his appointment of the new service chiefs in the next seven months.