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NATIONAL: Northern coalition plans to sue Buhari over service chiefs’ tenure

THE Coalition of Northern Groups has vowed to use legal means to force President Buhari sack the country’s service chiefs, Punch reports.

The group, which said the service chiefs have outlived their usefulness, said dragging the Buhari to court was the last resort following his refusal to fire the service chiefs.

Buhari holds the record of the President whose service chiefs were not changed for five solid years in office since the country’s return to democracy.

The president on assumption of office in 2015 had appointed General Gabriel Olonishakin as Chief of Defence, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff and Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas as Chief of Naval Staff.

These five personalities have been retained beyond the pesident’s first tenure in office despite the rising insecurity in the country.

The coalition added that under them, the security situation in the North had worsened, hence the need for the court to compel Buhari to remove them (service chiefs).

There have been calls for their removal for non-performance, but spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, had consistently argued that only Buhari could hire and fire the service chiefs.

The CNG argued that there were laws guiding the appointments of the service chiefs, which must be followed to evolve the system.

This, the northern organisation said, would be explored when they get to the court.
CNG’s spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, stated these in an interview with The Punch in Kaduna.

Suleiman said, “The CNG is going to court because we believe it is now no longer a question of performance, but one of legality on whether the service chiefs, who have overstayed their years of service should not be compelled to comply with the laws guiding the prevailing scheme of service in the country.

“We would seek interpretation from the courts on the applicability of the law that says if a public servant attains 60 years of age, he must retire, or if he covers 35-years in service, he should go.

“On moral grounds, CNG regrets that by any standard of judgement, President Muhammadu Buhari and his security chiefs as constituted today have failed the nation in the vital area of improving its security.

“We at the CNG have been consistent with our warnings that President Buhari lacked the will, his overstayed service chiefs lack the capacity, competence and commitment to lead Nigeria into a secure and prosperous future.

“It is shocking that in spite of unprecedented consensus among Nigerians that the administration requires a new resolve, approach and leadership in the fight against the nation’s multiple security challenges, President Buhari appears either totally isolated or in deep denial over the result of his service chiefs’ failures to secure Nigerians.”

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