The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has expressed doubt over the appointment of new Service Chiefs.
Naija News recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday appointed new service chiefs for the nation after he sacked the previous ones.
This was confirmed on Tuesday in a tweet from presidential media aide, Femi Adesina in which he also quoted the president as appreciating the outgone service chiefs for their performance.
In a press release made available to journalists in Abuja, NEF’s Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the appointment of new service chiefs will not solve the security problems facing the nation.
He added that the sack of the former service chiefs and the appointment of new ones is just a means to better security in the country.
He, however, asked the new service chiefs to prioritise the welfare and morale of the troops in order to win the war against insurgency.
He said: “Northern Elders Forum welcomes the appointment of new Service Chiefs. In our current circumstances where the nation is being swamped by old and new security challenges, a change of leadership in our Armed Forces should be a signal that President Muhammadu Buhari accepts the need to affect major changes in his disposition to security issues and improvements in the nation’s capacities to deal with security and public safety.
“Nigerians will hope that these changes, even if belated, are intended as a response to the persistent demands for changes at leadership levels as part of the requirements to improve professionalism, morale and integrity of command structures of our Armed Forces.
“The Forum warns the nation not be misled into thinking that these changes will dramatically change the nation’s fortunes in its fight against multiple security threats. “The new Service Chiefs will be a lot more effective if they are inspired by a Commander-In-Chief who adopts an involved and active interest in their conduct, records and performances.”
Baba-Ahmed noted that the President must be involved and interested in the new service chief’s conduct, records, and performances for the country to win the war against insurgency and other threats.
“President Buhari must therefore reduce his distance from defense and security matters, and hold Service Chiefs and senior commanders accountable for successes and failures.
“The Forum believes that the priorities of the new Service Chiefs should include real improvements in professional standards and morale of fighting men and women as well fighting corruption within the Armed Forces.
“They will be aware that our frustrations regarding access to vital weapons and criticisms from foreign and domestic monitors of the war are related to the manner our Armed Forces execute the war, and it will be important for them to lead a military which will operate with higher standards of respect for rules of engagement.”