Concerned elders across the country have demanded the sack of President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, over his alleged insensitive comments.
The elders’ demand follows Shehu’s comments claiming that the tenure of Service Chiefs was dependent on the “pleasure” of the Commander-in-Chief.
Shehu had appeared on television and made the utterances while responding to questions on the President’s reason for retaining the Service Chiefs despite the worsening insecurity in the country
He had claimed that no part of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 stipulated any tenure for the military high command.
However, the elders, who operate under the aegis of Conference of Concerned Nigerian Elders (COCNE), took strong exception to the presidential spokesperson’s submission, describing it as unprofessional in scope, insensitive in content, shameful in form, and reckless in nature.
While admonishing Shehu, the elders said the President’s spokesperson ought to weigh his utterances and the mood of the people, especially when discussing security and public safety.
The elders in a statement signed by Prof. Tunde Banjo for South West, Dr Achike Nwachukwu for South East, Barr. Jackson Spiff for South-South, Alhaji Baba Usman Funtua, North West, Prof. Shehu Bulama for North East and Dr. Isaiah Terhila for North-Central zones, respectively, warned the presidential aide against incurring the wrath of Nigerians following the current security situation.
“We are alarmed by a rather reckless, insensitive, shameful and unprofessional statement credited to Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s media adviser, to the effect that the Service Chiefs, who have remained in office despite glaring lacklustre record of performance, serve at the ‘pleasure’ of the Commander-in-Chief.
“Only those who derive personal benefits from the status quo will support its retention, as Shehu has continued to shamefully do.
The concerned elders said the sack of Shehu will serve as a deterrent to other presidential appointees, who may want to act and speak as Shehu does.
The elders, however, clarified that they have nothing against the military heads, who they claim did their best during the early days of their appointments.
“As concerned elders, we observe that this is not the first time Shehu will be supporting the retention of Service Chiefs, against glaring failure to secure lives and property.
“From a patriotic position, therefore, we are calling on our dear and amiable President to show Shehu the way out without further delay.
”We reiterate our call for the removal of the Service Chiefs and consequential replacement with senior officers with new ideas and perspectives on how to check the hydra-headed monster of insecurity”.