President Buhari's newly appointed service chiefs: the unanswered questions and the many hurdles ahead

By Momoh, Emmanuel Omeiza
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Change is constant. In fact, it is inevitable. In all sincerity it is the only phenomenon that distinguish the human society from the animal kingdom. This is why many organisations do not waste time in replacing redundant staff. Even in the sports circle, football coaches are quick to replace players they feel aren't working effectively to ensure that the team clinches a goal.

The above fact may have occasioned the decision of the Nigerian President Buhari to fire the nation's military service chiefs after several pleas, agitations and requests from well meaning Nigerians and elder statesmen.

The issue of extending their tenure had been the bane of argument and had generated controversies among Nigeria's diverse polity. This is due to their inability to tackle the menace of insurgency and insecurity at large. The President apparently aware of the controversies eventually took a bold step by relieving them of their duties and making an immediate appointment as replacement.

Lest we forget, the President during his first term campaign in 2015 had promised Nigerians to bring lasting solutions to the rising challenge of insecurity in the country. Nigerians not knowing what the future held clinged on this promise and voted out the then government headed by Good luck Jonathan.

However, more than half a decade down the line, Nigerians could attest to the fact that the system hasd delapidated speedily when compared to how the present government met it. The nation's security architecture had become so porous giving way to heinous crimes and criminal activities.

The boko haram insurgency which started like a child's play had snowballed into banditry, cattle rustling, high profile kidnapping and abduction among others. These dare devil personalities now have the effrontery to even attack military formations.

This led to a champion for a change in the military leadership which the President implemented in the current week. While the president's action of replacing the service chiefs should be applauded, one should notwithstanding not be reticent to ask several questions.

Firstly, What could have been the rationale or grounds for which the President kept the service chiefs after more than five years which were marked by gross incompetence among others?

More than 18 soldiers were killed towards the end of last year when insurgents attacked a military base. But what do you think was the reaction of the President with respect to this massacre? Stale silence and utterances which could melt the strongest of hearts. In some occasions, the President and attributed the massacres to the activities of the opposition who were bent on tarnishing the image of his administration.

Could this be compared to the actions of President Isoofuou Mahamadou of Niger Republic, another sister nation affected by the Boko haram insurgency which sent his service chiefs packing when more than four score soldiers were massacred in the most gruesome manner?

Secondly it is best to ask if the change in service chiefs will put an end to the rising cases of insecurity in the nation. Without ado, the level of insecurity had put Nigeria on a watch list among other countries in the world. We cannot but doubt the increasing reports which prove the fact that Nigeria cannot be regarded as a safe harbour for human lives. The boko haram insurgency are one among the many reasons to believe that there are lapses within our security system.

Another pertinent question that needs to be asked is how the replacement of the nation's service chiefs will boost the confidence of Nigerians who have lost ability in the military to unravel the mystery of insecurity?

Well there are several other uestions that which time and the unfolding of events will unwrap sooner than later.

Notwithstanding, I believe there are several hurdles which lie ahead of the newly appointed chiefs.

The first being the issue of welfarism which has been neglected. Welfarism in this regards is not only limited to wages and salaries, but also ammunitions, discipline among others. We would not be quick to forget the several pleas of several soldiers who had both openly and secretly complained of poor welfarism. A classical example was the erstwhile theatre Commander of the operation lafiya Dole, General Olusegun Adeniyi who was eventually relived of his duties.

Another hurdle lying ahead of the nation's chief is the question of riding the nation's military forces of bad eggs that undermine the force's aim of defending the country against external aggression. Several reports from the media have recorded instances of how troops liase with criminal elements to unleash mayhem. Ogun State recently recorded how Nigerian troops flogged traditional rulers and other members of a community for refusing to allow Fulani herdsmen graze on their lands.

Finally, the hudle of positioning the nation's military to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with her counterparts in the world are some of the tasks that lie ahead of the newly appointed service chiefs.

Well, now that there is a change of baton in the leadership of the military, it is hight time the new service chiefs begin to set out to work. And for Nigerians, let us keep keep hope alive that the current challenge of insecurity in the will be a foregone issue soon. I do wish the new leaders the best in their quest to continually defend Nigeria from aggressors.

By: Momoh, Emmanuel Omeiza