Thursday, October 29, 2020

Coalition opposes impeachment requests for service chiefs

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The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations has opposed renewed calls by some Northeast elders for the firing of heads of service in the wake of the recent national #EndSARS protest by some young people.

The Head of the Coalition, Mr. Shina Loremikan, spoke out against the call at a press conference in Lagos on Friday.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the coalition is a conglomerate of 16 civil society organizations.

NAN recalls that some Northeast elders had renewed their calls for the removal of service chiefs on Wednesday to strengthen the war on terrorism and banditry.

The elders, under the auspices of the Northeast Coalition of Elders for Peace and Development (CNEEPD), said the protests continued after the elimination of the Special Anti-Theft Squad (SARS).

They said the calls were necessary due to frustration caused by the worsening insecurity in the country.

Loremikan said the incessant calls to President Muhamadu Buhari to remove the heads of service at every turn were capable of lowering the morale of the officers and their men in the “Theater of Operations.”

He said the call was an attempt to also demoralize the nation’s armed forces and their leaders, who are currently engaged in addressing a number of insurgencies and other internal security challenges.

The coalition leader said many of the calls were politically motivated by some selfish politicians and their supporters.

He said: “We are truly shocked by the inability of these leaders to recognize the historic efforts and achievements that the Nigerian military has made.

“This is in the fight against the insurgency and other forms of banditry throughout the country in recent months.

“The call for the removal of service chiefs at that time is a watershed moment in our history, leaving much to be desired.

“Let’s not forget that the Boko Haram insurgents are lurking waiting to attack, if we lower our guard by acceding to the calls of those who want to be taken out; it can spell doom. “

Loremikan also urged the Federal Government to improve the financial obligations of the nation’s armed forces.

According to him, it is about improving their ability to deal effectively with the unfortunate crisis in some parts of the country.

He said Senator Ali Ndume, chairman of the Senate Army Committee, had said many times that the military lacked the modern equipment necessary to carry out the war against the insurgents.

Loremikan said that Ndume had explained that the army budget was inadequate compared to other countries that were not even facing the Nigerian situation, such as fighting insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, just to mention.

He said that recently a troop commander, Colonel Bako, paid the ultimate sacrifice when he was ambushed, while his troop lost some men to violent Boko Haram.

The leader said that if he had had modern equipment such as drones and attack helicopters, there would have been a clean-up operation to clear all land mines before continuing with the operation.

Loremikan also noted that the #EndSARS protests across the country were a sign of the evils plaguing the government structure in the country.

He said that the protest was only a trigger for the crisis in education, health, lack of infrastructure, unemployment and underemployment in the country.

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