Coalition of Civil Society for Peace and Good Governance in Africa (COSPAGA) has described as irresponsible and reckless comments by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, that Service Chiefs would remain as long as the president wants.
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Christopher Yakubu, Secretary, Ibrahim Funtua; and Director of programme, Lola Babalola, the coalition further described Shehu as a liability to the President wondering if he had any training in image making.
Shehu’s comments came amid calls from various quarters for the sacking of the service chiefs following last weekend’s murder of 43 farmers by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno.
COSPAGA said such a remark by the President’s spokesman raised questions about his professionalism.
They called on President Buhari to replace him with a more competent person.
The statement read: “We received with rude and outright shock the statement credited to Mallam Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman on Arise TV on Monday, where he stated that the service Chiefs will remain in office as long as Buhari is satisfied with them.
“Nothing can be more irresponsible, reckless, insensitive, unprofessional as such a statement. We wonder if Garba Shehu ever went to any image managing school in his life.
“For us, we think Garba Shehu is a liability to Buhari’s government and is largely responsible for putting this government in a bad light.
“We appeal to Mr. President to sack and replace him with a more competent and experienced Nigerian.
“While we appreciate the fact that sacking the service chiefs may not automatically end the war against insurgence and insecurity in Nigeria, we strongly believe that appointment of new service chiefs that reflects federal character will usher in hope to the nation and will set in template total turnaround for our national security.
“The new officers will be coming in with new zeal, and ideas that may change the game, Nigeria will work closely through information sharing with them.
“This is why Nigerians are saying among so many other recommendations to end insurgence and insecurity, that the president must start first with the sack of service chiefs to restore confidence in the people.
“No strategy to end the insurgency can yield any results with the current crop of service chiefs.
“Statistically, the military kinetic approach can only do 37% out of the 100 in ending insurgence and insecurity,” the coalition said.