ON Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the Senate demonstrated the exasperation that has engulfed the nation over the senseless and relentless killings of Nigerians by calling for the sack of the Service Chiefs of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The Service Chiefs are Chief of the Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin; Chief of the Army Staff, Lt-General Yusuf Tukur Buratai; Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar.
The Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, has also been on the lips of many Nigerians for the perceived inability of the Police to play decisive roles in arresting the upsurge in killings.
The senators resorted to this call in response to the daily reports by its members as well as their colleagues in the House of Representatives about killings in their constituencies by suspected Fulani herders, who have waged an unprovoked war on Nigerians, especially farming communities, for reasons yet to be officially acknowledged. Never had Nigeria faced the scale of wanton destruction of lives and property being faced now.
From the Boko Haram Islamist terrorists in the North-East, cattle rustlers in the North-West to armed Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and Southern states. Also, kidnappings for ransom, jailbreaks, killer cult groups and daring bank robberies have dramatically spiked of late.
It is very curious that the Service Chiefs, who President Muhammadu Buhari appointed when he assumed power in 2015, were given a sweeping service extension only on December 18, 2017 by the Commander-in-Chief, “having carefully reviewed the ongoing military operations across the nation and efforts of the Chief of Defence Staff and the Service Chiefs in the Counter-Insurgency operations.”
It is now obvious that the Legislative and Executive branches of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Federal Government are sharply divided on the performance of the Service Chiefs and the entire security architecture of the nation. Under such circumstances, it becomes difficult to fathom the course of action the Federal Government will take in arresting the insecurity of lives and property. It is beyond debate that Nigerians are being slaughtered everyday in their local communities.
Thousands of people are being uprooted from their homes and rendered refugees by faceless armies of bandits. The coterie of military and police operations around the country do not seem to make much impact. Besides, more Nigerians are openly expressing doubts in the ability and willingness of the military and police to guarantee their safety as constitutionally mandated. Something drastic and new must be done to save Nigeria from anarchy. The Federal Government has a sacred duty to protect Nigerians. All options must be on the table to secure this nation. Now is the time to act.