NEF Lauds Buhari over New Appointment

The Northern Elders’ Forum NEF has commended President Mohammadu Buhari to yield to various calls and appoint new service chiefs.

The group stated this in a statement through its Publicity and Advocacy Director, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed.
NEF said the President should distance himself from defense and security matters and hold the service chiefs and senior commanders accountable for successes and failures.
However, they warned that the changes would not dramatically change the nation’s fortunes in its fight against multiple security threats.

The statement revealed thus: “In our current circumstances where old and new security challenges are swamping the nation, a change of leadership in our Armed Forces should be a signal that President Muhammadu Buhari accepts the need to affect significant 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 to 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.
“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 new Service Chiefs have been part of the military that has been severely challenged in the fight against a decade-old insurgency and many other threats.

“The only way they can regain the confidence of Nigerians is to improve on the records of their predecessors substantially.
“The Forum believes that priorities of the new Service Chiefs should include real improvements in professional standards and morale of fighting men and women as well as 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 action, and it will be essential for them to lead a military which will operate with higher standards of respect for rules of engagement.
“The Forum invites the nation’s attention to the need to rise in support of leaders to reduce tensions and other threats to our security. Events unfolding in the Southwest, particularly inflammatory comments and threats by groups and individuals, represent existential threats to the whole nation.
“All Nigerians must eschew the temptation to tamper with sensitive matters in pursuit of narrow goals.
“The Forum repeats its call on President Buhari to summon a meeting of governors, the leadership of security and intelligence services and other Nigerians with capacities to advise and assist in de-escalating tensions in the Southwest.”

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