Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, says the appointment of security chiefs is not subject to federal character.
Adesina who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday, said this while responding to comments about alleged nepotism in appointments under the current administration.
According to him, while certain appointments are subject to Federal Character, security is not one of those.
“There are certain appointments that are subject to federal character, for instance, the constitution says that there must be a minister from each state of the country but there are certain appointments that are also not subject to federal character and one of them is in the security,” he said.
“In security, they are not subject to Federal Character. It is about competence; it is about the ability to deliver.
“So, the president will appoint whoever he feels is fit and proper and will deliver to the best level for the country and for Nigerians”.
Adesina’s comments come hours after the President appointed new Service Chiefs following the resignation of the former officers.
Major-General Leo Irabor replaced General Abayomi Olonisakin as Chief of Defence Staff; Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao replaced Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar as Chief of Air Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo replaced Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas as Chief of Naval Staff; while General Ibrahim Attahiru replaced Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai as Chief of Army Staff.
Contrary to comments that the replacement of the service chiefs may have come following various calls by Nigerians for the sack of the former officers as a result of a number of security failures under their tenure, Mr Adesina said “the President knew the time to do it and I believe the time has come and that is why it has been done”.
“It will not be right to say one side was right or one side was wrong because the President even in the statement we issued, also commended the outgoing service chiefs for their contribution to engendering a safer country.
“That shows that by and large, he was satisfied with their performances and he just felt it was time to rejig the system; have fresh energy, have fresh blood, have fresh ideas,” he added.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met with the security chiefs in Abuja.
The meeting began shortly after the service chiefs arrived at the Presidential Villa in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It had in attendance the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the National Security Adviser, Retired Major General Babagana Monguno, and some ministers.
They are Minister of Defence, Retired Major General Bashir Magashi; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, among others.
The services chiefs were led to the State House by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met with the security chiefs in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The meeting which lasted for over three hours ended with the assurance that the armed forces will work harder to secure the country and Nigerians.
Speaking to journalists, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said the meeting focused on ways to better secure the country, saying the current strategy adopted by the armed forces is working.
“The message that is coming out of that meeting is that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies will continue to work much harder to ensure that every Nigerian is secured, and the territorial integrity of Nigeria is not undermined by anybody.
“I think the strategy has already been changed and from what we are seeing, the current strategy is work. But what we are going to do is to ensure that all hands are on deck and every Nigerian equally has a role to play by passing relevant intelligence to us,” he said.
Those at the meeting include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; and the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
Others are the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas; as well as the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
Others were the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The security chiefs have refused to reveal the details of their discussion with the President.
Shortly after the meeting which held on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, reporters approached the security chiefs, but they declined to make any comment.
Thereafter, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, was asked to react to the allegation of meddling in the elections in Rivers State levelled against the Nigerian Army by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Army boss, however, referred the reporters to the acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, who also refused to make any comment.
President Muhammadu Buhari met with the security chiefs less than two weeks after the governorship and state house of assembly elections.
The meeting also comes four days ahead of the supplementary election scheduled to hold in some states after INEC declared the governorship election inconclusive.
It had in attendance the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Security chiefs also present included Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas, and Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi, among others.
Government officials in attendance were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, as well as the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with heads of security agencies in the country.
The meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
In attendance were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha; the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; as well as the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno.
The security chiefs at the meeting included the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Also present were Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas; acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu; and Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi, among others.
Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, Governor El-Rufai said the death toll in the recent killing in Kaduna State has risen.
He said those denying the recent killings in the state were “grossly irresponsible,” stressing that new facts revealed that those killed were more than 100.
Governor El-Rufai added that the effort of relevant agencies in the state has yielded a positive result, as the security agencies have arrested more suspects linked to the killings.
On President Buhari’s order to deal with ballot box snatchers, he said only those who were planning to snatch boxes have reasons to worry.
Governor Shettima, on his part, told reporters that he was ready to pay the supreme price as the fight against terrorism in the north-east continues.
He also vowed to return to Gamboru Ngalla, where his convoy was attacked recently by a faction of the Boko Haram terrorists.
Members of the President’s cabinet at the meeting include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, as well as the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, and Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, among others.
Security chief in attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe.
Also present were Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar; Director General of Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Buchi, and some other security heads.
He stressed the need for the government to respect the rule of law and release the leader of the Shiite group, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and others who have been granted bail by various courts.
Read the full speech by the CAN President below;
Your Excellency, the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) appreciates your kind gesture in hosting us once again despite your tight schedules. We all know that presiding over the affairs of a complex nation like our country can no doubt be burdensome, hence, we have not ceased from praying for Mr President and the Administration as demanded by God.
CAN acknowledges some of the relative changes that your leadership has brought into being since the emergence of your Presidency, especially the creation of the awareness that corruption is cancer in our nation which all of us must join hands together to exterminate before it exterminates us.
We are aware of the job opportunities being created through the office of the Vice President. This initiative has reduced the number of jobless teeming youths, especially graduates in the country. It is our hope that very soon, the economy will be totally recovered, and all our closed industries and factories would be reopened to provide gainful employment opportunities to the teeming unemployed Nigerians.
In reality Sir, despite the efforts of government in the area of security, Boko Haram terrorists are still attacking some soft targets. However, we are great full to God that their audacity of hoisting flags where they had captured has become history. We commend Your Excellency over your determination, commitment and courage in bringing out the best out of our military.
The menace of bandits in States like Zamfara and Kebbi has become a nightmare, coupled with the unending killings by herdsmen in the North-Central zone, especially in Plateau, Benue and Taraba State. Not only have these attackers killed hundreds of innocent lives on the Plateau, they are presently occupying homes of their victims in Gashish District of Plateau State. Appalling conditions in some of the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps are driving many into despair. Unarguably, the failure of the Police to nip the activities of these criminals in the bud accounts for the drafting of the military to quell civil insurrection.
Other criminal elements amidst us like kidnappers and hired killers are still perpetrating their havocs as if might has become right. It is not yet UHURU, and the long walk to bidding farewell to these criminalities is fraught with tedious bends. We are fully persuaded that, but for the prayers of the people and your efforts, it could have been worse. Right from the inception of CAN, her leadership has been among the critical segments of the society, all in an attempt to have an egalitarian society where justice, rule of law and fair play hold sway.
Another area where your leadership deserves accolades is the anti-graft war that has led to the recovery of huge sums of money from those who pilfered our commonwealth. It is reprehensible that elected officials have seized opportunities of being in public office to loot the treasury. Like we categorically noted here during our last visit, the wish of the people is for the war against corruption to be total and without discrimination. Not a few believe that the ruling party is becoming a safe haven to some corrupt politicians in their bid to escape the trap of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
CAN commends your boldness and courage in implementing the BVN and Single Account system. There is no doubt that the two policies have greatly helped in sanitising the system. We also commend your government for continuing with projects you inherited from your predecessor in office.
As we approach another election year, our appeals to your government include, among others:
A presidential order to the Police and other security agencies to be non-partisan, neutral and apolitical in the coming general election with a view to securing international respect and honour for our country in the comity of nations. The degree of desperation we saw in the politicians during the intra-party elections that took place recently do not give many people hope concerning 2019 unless serious steps are taken to let decency prevail. We appeal to you to make sure that the law enforcement agents and the election umpire do their work professionally without intimidation of voters, manipulation and any trace of violence throughout the period of elections. We believe that the survival and peace of Nigeria are greater than the ambition of any politician.
We again request that your administration conducts a free and fair election that would add to the accolades the country received from the conduct of 2015 elections that brought you to power.
Restoration of peace and sanity in troubled spots in the country, especially in the States of Adamawa, Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Kaduna and Zamfara.
Enhancement of security and flushing out of attackers in many towns as is in Gashish District on the Plateau, in order to allow sacked communities in the various IDP camps return to their towns and villages.
We urge your administration to invest more in intelligence gathering and ensure that our security agents work on them before the terrorists would strike.
Total adherence to the rule of law as is required by our constitution and full-blown democracy by making sure that those whose bails have been granted by competent courts like Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Leader of the Shiites, Malam Ibrahim El-Zakzaky are released from detention to enjoy the bail granted them by the courts of law. This would ease tension in the land and give credit to your administration together with respect from the international community.
A Presidential order directing the Army to stop using live bullets in quelling civil disturbances and an order to the Police to provide protection to any group of people engaging in peaceful protest as the law and modern-day democracy allow.
A total overhauling of the security system with a view to replacing security chiefs who have overstayed their welcome.
An urgent resolution of the controversies on the ongoing dialogue over the new minimum wage.
A concerted effort on the part of your government to ensure Nigeria does not return to the dreaded economic recession.
An appeal to all political parties to shun vote buying with a view to letting the votes of the people count, come 2019.
Setting up of a judicial panel of enquiry to look into the incessant killings in the North-central with a view to unmasking perpetrators and bringing them to book to serve as a deterrent to others. One of the terms of reference of the judicial panel, if accepted, should be to investigate the killing of the immediate Director of Administration of the Army, Major General Idris Alkali (rtd), and circumstances surrounding the kidnap and killing of the Paramount Chief of the Adara Chiefdom in Kaduna State, His Royal Highness, the Agom Adara, Dr. Maiwada Raphael Galadima.
More importantly, sir, issue a presidential order to the security agencies to secure the release of Miss Leah Sharibu, who has been in the captivity of Boko Haram, and the remaining 112 Chibok girls and other innocent Nigerians still held by terrorist organisations.
On a final note, Your Excellency, we thank you for this invitation and it is our prayers that the Almighty God will protect and guide you. By the authority in the Word of God, I proclaim liberty, freedom and deliverance over Nigeria in Jesus’ name.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met with the security chiefs in Abuja.
The President presided over the Security Council meeting held at the Presidential Villa.
Briefing State House correspondents on its outcomes, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, said the meeting focused on security issues, especially as they concern election violence.
He assured Nigerians that the security agencies would remain unbiased and work hard to ensure the general elections in 2019 are free and fair.
The police boss disclosed that the Council also noted with concern the proliferation and stockpiling of weapons by some disgruntled elements in parts of the country.
He added that the meeting discussed the attempt by some notable personalities to put pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through demonstrations.
The security chiefs were led to the meeting by the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd).
However, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, was absent.
Security chiefs who attended the meeting include the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas.
Also present are the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Yusuf Bichi, among others.
Government officials also in attendance are the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha; and the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno.