The League of Security Experts and Professionals has asked the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, Atiku Abubakar, to desist from making “ignorant remarks” about the Nigerian military.
This was in response to Atiku’s counsel to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai. He had asked Buratai to relocate to the North-East zone, particularly Borno State, for better coordination of the fight against insurgency.
During a press conference in Abuja on Friday, Anthony Egwu, president of the group, described the remarks made by the former vice-president as highly misleading and “lacking in depth and purpose, laced with mischief, ignorance, and a clear case of playing to the gallery”.
He also accused Atiku of displaying “gross ignorance,” claiming that the motive of the PDP chieftain is to cast aspersion on the commitment of Buratai in the fight against Boko Haram.
“The pertinent issue today is the call by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai to relocate permanently to Borno state in an attempt to coordinate the fight against insurgency better. He also stated that the Chief of Defence Staff should have an annex office in Zamfara state, instead of sitting in their comfort zones in Abuja,” he said.
“The League of Security Experts and Professionals wishes to state that the curriculum vitae of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar puts him in the lowest rungs of the ladder to contribute on military strategies in Nigeria for undeniable reasons. If indeed he chooses to air his opinion on national issues as expected, he should be guided by the need for decorum and respect for facts and the sensibilities of others at all times.
“The League of Security Experts and Professionals would state in unequivocal terms that the statement credited to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a direct affront to the efforts of the Nigerian military in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria and other parts of the country.
“This is especially so as there have been no efforts whatsoever by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar towards contributing positively to sustainable peace in Nigeria, either while he held sway in office as Vice President and otherwise.
“For the records, the League of Security Experts and Professionals is aware that the Chief of Army Staff and other top commanders of the Nigerian Army have been in the trenches in the past weeks supervising military operations. As a critical stakeholder in the security sector in Nigeria, the League of Security Experts and Professionals is also aware of the gains recorded by the Nigerian military in North East Nigeria, particularly around the Lake Chad basin region.
“The efforts of the Nigerian military in its operations in other parts of the country is also worthy of mention, which Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would not see or admit. “It is therefore pertinent to state that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should desist from commenting on how the Nigerian military should implement its war strategies and he should be bold enough to visit the Nigerian troops in the trenches for first-hand war experience.
“The League of Security Experts and Professionals wishes to advise Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to call home his ignorance on the operations of the Nigerian military and stop misleading the members of the unsuspecting general public.”
Atiku had, in a statement by his spokesman, Prince Kassim Afegbua, condemned the spate of killings in the country.
He said: “The Chief of Army Staff should permanently be in Borno, where he will coordinate his troops.
“The Chief of Defence Staff should have an annex office in Zamfara, where he would spend more time than sit in their comfort zones in Abuja. The Chief of the Air Force needs to also be on his toes. We need a new paradigm in terms of methods and personnel to fit into the sophistication of these crimes.
“It is about time the President goes beyond mere sloganeering, and sprouts to action. We are tired of weather-beaten rhetoric that has become so repetitive and boring. We need to see a different approach in terms of choosing the right personnel to dispense with the responsibilities of safeguarding the country.
“From the statement earlier credited to the Chief of Army Staff, General Buratai, it does appear that we are in serious defence inertia. Some Nigerians have been saying that it is about time the President rejig his security personnel. Let these tired legs leave the scene for a more robust and result-driven younger minds that will come up with a new perspective on how to combat our insecurity challenges.”