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Service Chiefs didn’t shun Reps’ summon —Chief of Defence Staff



Abayomi Olonisakin

Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, has explained that service chiefs were absent from the meeting with the leadership of the House of Representatives due to other national duties and assignments which clashed with the aborted meeting.

Speaking on Monday at the rescheduled meeting with the leadership of the house in Abuja, Olonisakin said the absence of the service chiefs last Friday was not a deliberate act to disrespect the lawmakers.

Recall that Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had invited the nation’s service chiefs to discuss the country’s security crisis but they did not show up when it was first scheduled.

Following their absence, Gbajabiamila had threatened to report them to President Muhammadu Buhari.

However, Olonisakin said the service chiefs recognised the concern of the Green Chamber of the National Assembly over the nation’s fragile security situation and would never have shunned the meeting on purpose.

READ ALSO: Gbajabiamila under attack over threat to report service chiefs to Buhari

“We are here to listen to the security concerns of the house and address them with the support of the legislature,” Olonisakin said.

“Our various chiefs of operations were here to represent us, they are senior officers in charge of the various headquarters and are qualified to respond to issues.

“I wish to put on record that contrary to insinuations, the absence of the service chiefs on Friday was not a deliberate act to disrespect the institution of the assembly.

“We hold the national assembly in the highest regard and wish to appreciate the institution for the support in the fight against insurgency.”

He said the armed forces in collaboration with other security and intelligence agencies had been contending with terrorism for many years in the region.

He said in spite of the challenges, appreciable progress had been made in the fight against insurgency in the zone.

He added that the armed forces would continue to strategise to address the changing operational situation of the insurgency.

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