Security: Nigeria in a state of emergency, says Buhari

Security: Nigeria in a state of emergency, says Buhari

By Bolaji Ogundele and Okodili Ndidi, Abuja

  • President meets with Service Chiefs

  • Military bosses resume tomorrow without Senate’s nod

President Muhammadu Buhari drove home the grim security situation in the country on Wednesday.

He told the newly appointed Service Chiefs during his maiden meeting with them 24 hours their appointment that “we are in a state of emergency”.

The President urged them to be “patriotic, loyal and serve the country diligently”.

Chief of Defence Staff Maj-Gen Leo Irabor led the others – Chief of Army Staff Maj-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo and Chief of Air Staff Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao –  to the meeting.

Defence Minister Bashir Magashi and Chief of Staff to the President Ibrahim Gambari also attended the meeting.

Gen. Irabor, who spoke to reporters after the meeting said: “The message from the President is that we knowing the current security environment, must do everything possible to add value to the security disposition in the country. He reminded us that the expectations are high and we must be mindful of the expectations.”

The Service Chiefs, he said, collectively assured the President that they would ”work to achieve that,” adding: “We are mindful of the demands.  We can only at this stage pledge our utmost best to bring safety and security to lives and properties across the country.

“On behalf of the service chiefs, I am assuring the nation of peace and security. We believe there will be value that will be added to the security disposition of the nation.”

Presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina, quoted the President as telling the military chiefs to be conscious of the fact that ”we’re in a state of emergency.”

He added that the President promised that he would not only keep praying for them but would, as the Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces, provide them with equipment and logistics to succeed.

He quoted the President further as saying: ”There’s nothing I can tell you about the service, because you are in it. I was also in it, and I will pray for you. I also assure you that whatever I can do as Commander-in-Chief will be done, so that the people will appreciate your efforts.”

“You (service chiefs) know the stage we were in 2015; you know the stage we are now, and the undertakings we made. We promised to secure the country, revive the economy, and fight corruption. None has been easy, but we have certainly made progress.”

Buhari also charged the service chiefs to be concerned about the morale of their officers and men by making them feel physically and professionally secure.

The military chiefs will resume at their duty posts tomorrow and a formal handing over by the erstwhile top brass will take at the headquarters of the various services and at the Defence headquarters.

At the Defence headquarters on Wednesday, the atmosphere was calm. Lt. Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, the Chief of Policy and Plans,  who is a Regular Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) Course 34 members is expected to retire along with former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Tukur Buratai.

Gen Irbabor is a members of Regular Course 34.

The fate of some of his course mates still in service is hanging in the balance.

Military sources told The Nation yesterday that Gen. Irabor, in following the standard practice, is at liberty to recommend to the President, the retirement of his course mates in the DHQ.

The source said: “We don’t see the new Chief of Defence Staff or the other service chiefs dismantling the structures put in place by their predecessors. You should know that the ongoing military operations require consistency and experience. They will definitely make some changes but it will be a gradual process.”


The Nation

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