THE Senate has passed a resolution for the incumbent service chiefs to step aside as the nation seeks fresh ideas in the fight against insecurity, so as not to jeopardise the nation’s security.
Senate also resolved that the Federal Government should urgently provide modern equipment to enhance the operational capabilities of the armed forces.
The Senate also mandated its committees on Defence, Army, Air force, Navy, Interior, National Security and Nigeria Police to receive briefings on the state of affairs of the services.
The resolution followed a Point of Order raised by Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno) during plenary on “The Rising Casualties among the Nigerian Army and other Security Agencies.”
Ndume raised concerns over the various reports on the number of casualties among the Nigerian Army and other security agencies.
In a statement, Tuesday, by Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the Presidency, stated that it was the prerogative of the President to act on the tenure of the service chiefs.
The statement noted: “The Presidency notes the resolution, and reiterates that appointment or sack of service chiefs is a presidential prerogative, and President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, will do what is in the best interest of the country at all times.”
Also the president’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, also insisted that only the President has the powers to sack or appoint service chiefs.
Senator Istifanus Gyang (PDP-Plateau) noted the reports of loss of life and desertion of soldiers and the unprecedented resignation of over 200 soldiers.
“This calls for an urgent scrutiny by the Senate of the strategic, the tactical and operational details of operation by the armed forces,” he said.
Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi said, “Over the years a lot of these reports have been there and they have been lying, and sometimes unimplemented and this has been the bane of a lot of the work that had been done in the security sector.
“The issue that now faces us is that the readiness of our armed forces to really confront these challenges is now under pressure and this pressure is reflected in the number of soldiers we are losing due to terrorists and bandits.
“This particular issue needs to be tackled. It means our security forces will have to reorganise their deployment, they have to employ new tactics in this fight.”
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said, “the spirit of this motion is that our armed forces are trying very hard.
“They lay their lives on behalf of all of us and of course, it is very sad that some of them are deserting; are alleged to have deserted the war front. We need to get to the bottom of this.”