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‘They’re Due For Sack’: Nigerians Query Why Buhari Retains Service Chiefs Despite Displeasure

Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s open disapproval of the service chiefs’ record in fighting insecurity, Nigerians on Twitter are asking why he remains hesitant to terminate their appointment.

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, who addressed journalists at the statehouse following a security briefing attended by service chiefs, heads of security agencies, and intelligence heads, said President Buhari expressed “great concern” over the worsening state of security in the country.

“He is extremely unhappy about what is happening and he feels that, even though the security agencies are doing their best, their best is not good enough for him and wants an immediate reversal of the current trend and immediate reversal of our misfortunes in all their dimensions,” he said on Thursday.

He added that the president warned the various security agencies that he will not tolerate “any further escalation of the security situation”. 

“He also stated, that no one was forced on him, he selected everyone individually based on what he feels their records had revealed and therefore, it is up to individual organisations to live up to the expectations,” Monguno said.

“Again, Mr President has also said that it is extremely important that we in the security agencies, must ensure that we justify the leadership by not disappointing the populace.”

Thousands of Nigerians have bared their minds on the retention of service chiefs since the news broke. Taking to Twitter, a microblogging platform, many of them questioned the logic of not sacking the chiefs despite the president’s dissatisfaction with their performance.

“If their ‘best is not good enough’, they should get the boot. But I guess the man hasn’t got a leg, much less a boot,” tweeted Bulama Bukarti (@bulamabukarti), an analyst at the Tony Blair Institute and human rights lawyer.

Deji Adeyanju (@adeyanjudeji), human rights activist and convener of Concerned Nigerians, wrote, “Buhari is too incompetent. He needs to apologize to GEJ for asking him to resign over insecurity issues. He can’t even sack clueless service chiefs. What can Buhari really do?”

Ghost Alamin (@alamin_ghost) said it is high time President Buhari sacked the current crop of services chiefs and appointed new ones. “He should drop personal relations aside and make decisions like a president,” he added.

“If he feels the service chiefs are incompetent, why elongate their tenure unnecessarily?” Alfred Olufemi (@iam_alfred1) asked.

“Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Defence Staff, Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff, Sadique Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff are due for retirement having spent more than 35 years in service.”

The incumbent chiefs are the longest-serving since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999. They were appointed by President Buhari in July 2015.

Here are other tweets on the issue:


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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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