CUPP Seeks Sack of Service Chiefs, Hails Gallant Troops
Official Press Statement from Coalition of United Political Parties(CUPP)
It is with a heavy heart that we have called you here today to inform you of yet another patriotic effort to drag Nigeria out of the dungeon where the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has dumped it by the regime’s unprecedented incompetence, cluelessness and misrule.
Nigerians will recall that in 2015 when this administration first came to power, it had campaigned on three key promises to Nigerians. The regime claimed then that it would tackle the security situation of the country, fight corruption and revamp the economy of the country. Five years down the line, Nigerians are not in doubt anymore that they have fallen victim to political yahoo yahoo, they are victims of one chance and this regime has picked the pocket of Nigerians.
Under the watch of this regime, Nigeria has been turned into a killing field. The colour of our rivers is now red with the blood of innocent citizens. The regime has failed in its fulfillment of the primary purpose of government which is the protection of lives and properties of citizens. We now have different nomenclature for different theatres of blood in the country. In the North East it is called insurgency. In the North West it is called banditry. In the North Central it is called herders farmers clash while in the Southern states it is referred to as kidnapping.
By the provision of the Constitution, the President has the unfettered powers to appoint in line with the law heads of all security agencies in the country. These appointments include those of the Service Chiefs which are the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Navy Staff and chief of Air Staff. The only guides provided by the Constitution are contained in Sections 217, 218, 219 and 220 of the Constitution. It therefore means that the failure of the security falls squarely on the table of the President and on the basis of the failure to provide basic security for Nigerians, we have passed a Vote of no confidence on President Muhammadu Buhari and on his appointed Service Chiefs, as their continued stay undermines national security, demoralizes troops and a cause of mass resignation and public complaints by solders which cause more damage to our democracy.
It is to forestall the impending danger that the Opposition Coalition CUPP has filed a law suit at the Federal High Court seeking among other things:
1. A DECLARATION that the Service Chiefs have attained the mandatory retirement ages of 60 years or 35 years of service and therefore due for retirement.
2. A DECLARATION that the Service Chiefs having attained the mandatory retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of service in the Nigerian Armed Forces CANNOT lawfully have their services extended by the President or continue to perform any duty pertaining to their respective offices in the Armed Forces of the Federation.
3. A DECLARATION that upon the attainment of the mandatory retirement age of 60 years or 35 years of service in the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Service Chiefs CANNOT be deemed or taken to be serving members of the Armed Forces of the Federation and therefore cannot lawfully remain in service.
4. A DECLARATION that the Service Chiefs are due for statutory retirement upon their respective attainment of 60 years or 35 years of service in the Armed Forces of the Federation and ought to immediately proceed on one month pre-retirement leave and stop further performance of duty forthwith.
5. AN ORDER OF COURT directing and compelling the President to direct the Service Chiefs to immediately proceed on one month pre-retirement leave forthwith.
AN ORDER OF COURT directing and compelling the Service Chiefs to forthwith stop performing any duties or exercising any powers of the offices of Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff of the Armed Forces of the Federation respectively.
6. AN ORDER of Perpetual Injunction restraining the President from further re-appointing or in any other manner extending the services of the Service Chiefs in the Armed Forces of the Federation.
The Nigerian opposition cannot continue to indulge this President and believe that he will change. This President still has close to three years left for his regime to constitutionally run out. We can no longer stand on the sidelines and watch him destroy our country irreversibly. We must put all hands on deck to make this country work whether the President likes it or not. We believe that the Federal High Court will grant our prayers and invariably terminate the illegal extension of the tenures of the Service Chiefs, cause a legitimate change of guard and revitalize the very low morale of troops at the various theatres.
The president has an opportunity before the Court delivers its judgment to prove he is Commander in Chief and command with the right people that have the capacity. The President has not only failed by failing to exercise the right to hire and fire, but it is shameful in failing to respect the Constitution on tenure of the Service Chiefs and that is unacceptable and will be fought through the law.
Our rivers from Benue to Zamfara, our mountains from Katsina to Calabar, our high ways from Enugu to Port Harcourt, Abuja to Kaduna, Benin to Lagos, Okene axis of Kogi are filled with blood and over taken by kidnappers. Nigerians demand action from President Buhari and the President should wake up from his slumber.
After five years in office, the Service Chiefs have undoubtedly run out of ideas. They are now virtually doing the same thing over and over and cannot reasonably be expected to get a different outcome. These Service Chiefs have superintended the spending of trillions of Naira budgeted and released to them since their appointment in 2015. If only President Muhammadu Buhari were alive to his duties and responsibilities to the Nigerian people, he would have seen this and taken the necessary action of sacking these men who have over stayed their welcome. But the President is not aware.
In the last month or thereabout, we witnessed the unfortunate killing of tens of our gallant soldiers by insurgents in Borno and bandits in Katsina. We have also seen an unprecedented number of our soldiers in their hundreds applying for voluntary retirement from the Army for reasons such as going to take chieftaincy titles. There is currently in circulation a viral video of soldiers complaining about the quality and quantity of food served to them. A soldier who should fight to defend our country should not complain about something as basic as food, adequate arms and ammunition, their allowances and other logistics, but these are daily and regular occurrences now in the Nigerian Army. If these incidents and events did not send a red signal to the President then the President cannot help himself anymore. Nigerians live at mercy of terrorists, bandits and killer herdsmen. Our soldiers are not motivated. Videos have also been released of soldiers complaining of ill treatment while a former Theatre Commander openly complained, obviously out of frustration and after a deadly Boko Haram attack where he lost several of his men that they were ill equipped to confront the rag tag Boko Haram.
We hail our gallant soldiers who risk their lives daily to contain the state of insecurity despite the harsh conditions under which they operate. They fight without the requisite arms and ammunition. Their allowances are delayed, they are often fed poorly and have in times made to fight on empty stomachs. We encourage them. We daily pray for them and we stand with them shoulder to shoulder to ensure they get better deals and improve their welfare and those of their families. They cannot speak for themselves and we must speak for them. They are the true heroes of our country. They deserve the best our country can offer, both to them and their families. They leave their families and go to fight so that we can live with our families. They deny themselves sleep so that we can sleep. Ultimately, they die that we may live. There cannot be any greater sacrifice, hence we must not take their sacrifices for granted and allow them to be shortchanged.
While the Presidency and the ruling party are busy playing politics with the lives and unity of the country, the insurgents are driving their propaganda through the heart of the nation. Just last week, five aid workers who were abducted were executed as shown in a video released by the insurgent group. The Government daily continues to live in denial that no parts of the country are under the hold of the terrorists yet very credible sources from the North East States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe show that several Local Government Areas are under the effective control of the terrorists. They collect taxes and administer the areas.
New blood and new ideas need to be injected into the fight against insecurity in the land and the President has shown that he is incapable of doing that. Hence while we have launched the law Suit to get the courts to sack the Service Chiefs from office, we hereby unambiguously and emphatically call on the President, General Muhammadu Buhari to immediately resign from office and step aside so that we can reclaim our country. Nigeria is succumbing to the heavy burden of his lack of capacity to do anything right. Insecurity, corruption and a fast collapsing economy stare citizens daily in the face. The massive looting of our national resources is now at an unprecedented level and our national economy is on a free fall.
We are by these series of actions giving the President 30 days ultimatum to wake up from his slumber and work for Nigerians to reverse the losses to the insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and herdsmen and secure our country, the Nigerian opposition coalition shall at the expiry of the ultimatum commence mobilization for a nationwide mother of all protests to pressure the President to do his job by protecting lives and properties and stoping the current large scale corrupt activities that have destroyed his regime. He seems not to know that many people have died in Nigeria from violence in this year 2020 than in Mali yet he has remained completely unconcerned. Enough is enough and we must save Nigeria from the hands of agents of the enemies of our country.
Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere
Nigeria Opposition Coalition(CUPP)Spokesperson