By Frank Ikpefan, Abuja
Coalition of Civil Society for Peace and Good Governance in Africa, (COSPAGA), has lambasted the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, for saying the Service Chiefs will remain as long as the president wants.
The coalition noted that Shehu was tarnishing the President’s image with his unguarded remarks on insecurity in the country.
COSPAGA specifically faulted his recent comments in which he boasted that the service chiefs would remain in office as long as the President was satisfied with them, despite public outcry for their removal.
The president spokesman’s comments came few days after he said over 43 farmers killed in a village in Borno didn’t have clearance to farm.
COSPAGA National Coordinator, Christopher Yakubu, Secretary, Ibrahim Funtua; and Director of programme, Barr. Lola Babalola, in a statement Tuesday, said such a remark question the professionalism and competence of an image maker.
Consequently, Yakubu advised President Buhari, to immediately sack him before he finally plunges his name in the black book of history.
The statement reads: “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,” he said.
He maintained that the removal of service chiefs and appointment of fresh minds would simmer down the spate of killings as they would bring to bear new tactics to squash bandits.
“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.