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Insurgency: New Service Chiefs Should Be Given A Timeline ~ Ndume

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The chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to put the newly appointed Service Chiefs to task by giving them a timeline to bring the ongoing anti-terror war in the country to an end.

Ndume, who represents Borno South, spoke on Wednesday in Abuja while reacting to the Tuesday’s appointment of the Service Chiefs. He, however, added that the new security chiefs have the necessary competencies to execute their mandates.

The lawmaker, who also hailed the appointment and choice of the new Service Chiefs, said the decision by President Buhari has shown that he is a man of his words having promised to rejig the nation’s security architecture.

“The appointment of the new Service Chiefs is a welcome development and that goes to show that the President is keeping to his words. I remember in his New Year broadcast, he made a promise that he was going to rejig the security apparatus and that he assured Nigerians that the war against insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality that have been disturbing the country will be properly addressed.

“This (appointment of new Service Chiefs) is part of the implementation of his promise and also it is just a change of guards, so to say. But the good thing about it is that the new Service Chiefs are not only qualified but they have the field and operational experience.

“The Chief of Army Staff was also a Theatre Commander at one-time, even though his tenure was very short. He knows the terrain very well, he has the experience.

“So, we are expecting that with this development and being conversant with the insurgency problem in the North-East particularly and in the country in general, Nigerians by the several calls they have made for the change of the Service Chiefs, have very high expectation on the new Service Chiefs. But I am confident that this crop of people will be able to deal or address this issue.

“In fact, I have been advocating and I am still advocating that now that there is a new set of Service Chiefs, their requirements should be front-loaded, that is to say, if they require so, so amount to execute the war, they should be exempted from quarterly allocations and be given their money upfront.

“And once the government does that, I suggest that the President should now in sitting with them for the first or second time, give them a timeline, that ‘Look! You want this, I have given you, you want this, I have given you, what else?’ If they say nothing, ‘okay, give me a time when will you finish this war’. That should determines their tenure. If they don’t perform, government should not waste time in replacing them,” Ndume said.

He revealed that the military hardware ordered for by the Federal Government have started arriving the country and that will give the new Service Chiefs a better capability or capacity to operate.

“Like the ground troops need the necessary air cover or air power and with the acquisition of fighter helicopters, 23 of them, I think they are coming in or have started arriving and I think they have received about 18 of them and with expected arrival of Tucano jets this year and also the fact that the budget of the Armed Forces has been improved, we are expecting also that their performance will improve.

“The only snag now or what is remaining is for the various MDAs responsible for making the releases especially the Ministry of Finance, should be releasing the monies that have been appropriated to the Armed Forces timely,” Ndume said.


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