A prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has expressed strong shock, consternation and disappointment at a statement credited to the Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas to the effect that only God can police the Nigerian borders just as the group dismissed such tepid; heretical and discouraging remarks as the clearest sign of the gross incompetence and crass incapacity on the part of the service chiefs to enforce the minimum demands of their constitutional mandates.
HURIWA said it will not accept that the statement credited to the Naval Chief represents that of all the service Chiefs given that for instance the Army Chief Lieutenant General Yusuf Tukur Buratai has on many occasions assured Nigerians that the Nigerian Army under his command possess the necessary capacity and competence to secure the territorial independence and security of Nigerians.
HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to determine if the Naval Chief spoke the minds of the entire body and membership of the current National security and defence team and if that is the case it therefore follows that they should be immediately dismissed for the abysmal lack of the will power to do the needful to safeguard the territorial integrity of Nigeria which is the basic Constitutional demands of their duties as clearly spelt out in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).
HURIWA said it was absolutely intolerable that a full-fledged Military General in whom Nigeria’s tax payers resources have over the past thirty years or so been invested in carrying out varying degrees of professional trainings, retraining, capacity building and other institutional support services to upgrade their qualifications can therefore see that one of such a highly trained Generals that Nigeria has at the top most echelons of the military establishment is engaged in the double speak and the dramatization of crass incompetence hiding under some incomprehensible but certainly abominable theology of transferring the mandate of practically safeguarding the geographical and territorial sovereignty of Nigeria to the Supreme Being -God as if to say Nigeria is now a Theocracy. Nigeria is and remains a federal Republic guided by the provisions of the constitution Of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 of which made no mention of God as the Chief border security officer of Nigeria.
Besides, the Rights group accused the service chief of running out of idea on what to do to retake the control of all of our national territory from all sorts of armed freelance hoodlums, bandits, kidnappers and Islamic terrorists all of whom have constituted the gravest threats to the Sovereignty of Nigeria and have put our national security on the line.
HURIWA expressed utter consternation why a professional soldier will play the diversionary religious card of bringing God into the fray when in actual fact what has clearly manifested is that for four years the current Federal Government has remained unfortunately bereft of functional, effective, efficient and result -oriented strategic mechanisms for defending the territorial independence of Nigeria so constitutional democracy can be sustained over time. “By the way, if the Naval Chief is deficient in elementary religious knowledge may he be told that God is perfect and therefore wouldn’t be associated with the complete display of incapacity by the Armed forces of Nigeria in securing the TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY AND JURISDICTION of our nation State”.
HURIWA said that the greatest asset of any independent geopolitical entity is the ability of the Armed forces of such a Sovereign entity to defend, protect, nurture and promote the territorial security, integrity and safety of the Country and her people and the moment it becomes apparent that certain key security chiefs lack the necessary techniques, QUALITATIVE strategies and the will to execute the constitutional mandates imposed by law on their offices, such a person who must be deemed a failure would either be dismissed or if the person has some element of discipline and decency the best bet is to resign immediately after tendering profound apologies for the spectacular show of shame which is what his crass incompetence represents.
HURIWA expressed further shock that such a hollow statement could be made by a serving four star General after the Security Chiefs had met with the President Muhammadu Buhari only for the fellow to have said only God can police the country’s border.
“May we therefore know why these men are sworn in and assigned the critical security responsibility of protecting Nigeria only for them to now outsource the job to the Supreme being in Heaven but still continued to enjoy take home salaries and other juicy pay packages? Was God ever mentioned in the Nigerian Constitution as the Guardian Angel of Nigeria’s borders or was that a part of discussions at one of their seemingly ineffective security meetings with Buhari at the State House, Abuja, and why are the country’s security chiefs blaming the porous border for the rising insecurity in Nigeria when in the first instance their Constitutional job prescriptions says the Defence institutions are in place to safeguard the TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY OF NIGERIA? This is an unfathomable scandal and a slap on the faces of intelligent Nigerians”.
“To even read in the press that the security chiefs including; the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique.
Others are National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan- Ali, Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar, Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and the Director General of Department for State Service (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi spent over two hours meeting with the president only to come out with this bunkum of an irrational remark is to say the least very embarrassing. “These men must stop playing on our collective psyche and intelligence because Nigerians are some of the most widely travelled human beings on earth and they know how professionally excellent armed security forces in civilised and developed climes go all out to defend their borders. If China with such an extensive borders can defend her borders how much more such a small nation luke Nigeria compared to China?”
HURIWA has therefore reminded the President and his service chiefs that they must leave God alone and face their job which is clearly stated in Chapter 6. Part 3. Section 217 specifying the Establishment And Composition Of The Armed Force Of The Federation stating thus: “(1) There shall be an armed forces for the Federation which shall consist of an army, a navy, an Air Force and such other branches of the armed forces of the Federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly.
(2) The Federation shall, subject to an Act of the National Assembly made in that behalf equip and maintain the armed forces as may be considered adequate and effective for the purpose of
(a) defending Nigeria from external aggression;
(b) maintaining its territorial integrity and securing its borders from violation on land, sea, or air;
(c) suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President, but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly; and
(d) performance such other functions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.
(3) The composition of the officer corps an other ranks of the armed forces of the Federation shall reflect the federal character of Nigeria.”
HURIWA has therefore asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly to investigate this anomalous and unusually cowardly statement to ascertain if indeed it is the stand of the entire service chiefs and not just that of the person that unleashed these embarrassing statements who is the Naval Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and if this is their consensus opinion they must be dismissed and or forced to apologize to Nigerians and resign forthwith.