Liberal Mind

Security chiefs’ tenure at President Buhari’s pleasure

By Adetunji AyoBrown
That the Service Chiefs who have remained in office despite glaring lacklustre records of performance, serve at the ‘pleasure’ of the Commander-in-Chief is too weighty to be ignored at a time like this, when our country is witnessing peculiar insecurity like this.
Constitution biased or not, many are asking for proper and correct, possibly legal interpretations of his comments on how and if truly our national security is at pleasure of the executive, and perhaps with disabled legislature and weak/money-controlled judiciary that he is yet to add.
Imagine the topic given to a student who was asked to write as essay about men around my president’. Asking to critically access those men and women around the President of a particular country. Fortunately, Nigeria is given as a particular area of preferred reference for the topic.
Behold, the student’s assignment may be seen as a simple task, but on how not to err and able to come out with good write-up without been seen to be too critical of the government or its representative.
Analysing some of the topics of these spokespersons, it was discovered that most of their comments are always in a controversial terms and terminologies when addressing the nation. To the citizens’ bewilderment, it continued unabated with no one to put an end to such.
Why such advice comes from government advisers are not hidden at all.
For Adeshina, wailing citizens was his 2021 starter. Like a weekly series, from ‘reduce wailing to his kindred, Garba Shehu insensitive comments on our national security, which many have tagged as good example of another bad example. Insecurity that affects over 200million people is not to be based on the ‘Pleasure’ of any Commander in chief. If such exists, it will soon change, and that’s for the records.
As if they are melodramatic. Nigerians are alarmed by another of such rather reckless, insensitive, shameful and unprofessional statement credited to Garba Shehu, the President Muhammadu Buhari’s media adviser. It gives room for citizens to ponder on the quality of advises that come from such aides.
Many would not laugh it off or consider that it was a joke. As if all was stage-managed by them, little wonder dissent and despite for this government grew in numbers daily; something that can be averted if only they know effects of such statements on the people.
Now in a situation. ‘Sack Garba Shehu over insensitive comments on security’, has been the take from concerned elders to President Buhari on the news waves.
Best among the questions asked is, is Shehu right or wrong, legal interpretations are sought if for nothing but at least for posterity’s sake. The fact that the President is disqualifying himself daily through his aides is a cause for worries, leading to well meaning Nigerians asking for the proper definition of what was said.
Appearance on national television need the best of utterances possible which made many wondered if that was Shehu’s best.
Concerned elders across the country have demanded the sack of President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, over his alleged insensitive comments.
On Buhari’s part, it seems what he is seeing is perhaps competence. It should be noted that many Nigerians agree more with Shehu that he is considered to have been from another planet or continent.
The elders’ demand follows Shehu’s comments claiming that the tenure of Service Chiefs was dependent on the “pleasure” of the Commander-in-Chief.
Except for an insensitive government, pleasure of the Commander-in-Chief, which he boasted of is a showoff or an excuse not acceptable in democracy.
Spare Nigerians the expense of his presidential life. Even if many are angry with the president, utterances and statements of his media aides have a lot to do in changing the story, many Nigeria are of the opinion that Shehu should know this. Claiming that no part of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 stipulated any tenure for the military high command may be true, but people made constitution and is subjected to amendments whenever needed not vice versa. Simple and ordinary common sense dictates that when something wrong we say something to right such.
Go with the territory; Nigerians condemned in strong terms, explaining reasons why no one ever expected serious issue like insecurity to be taken with levity by someone of Shehu’s level who should know better.
One of the reactions is ‘Because he is a presidential aide, he thinks others are stupid’, angry Nigerians want his resignation or apology.
Going further, many still agree with Shehu, that Nigerians can never see what Buhari is seeing just as it is vice versa. But compliment or insult, what such unguided statement does is aggravating the already over-tensed polity as many took strong exception to this very one, considered as unpresidential of the spokesperson’s submission.
Expect worse in any question asked, many have described his answer as unprofessional in scope and insensitive in its entire content.
As Police hands signal are crucial in life threatening situation, so is the presidential voices in situation like this.
Changing the image is what fashion is all about. Presidential spokesmen should not worsen the image of their principal. Many are still admonishing Shehu who ought to weigh his utterances and the mood of the people, especially when discussing security and public safety.
Shameful in form and reckless in nature are not too good in describing the presidential aide and his statements. Condemnations and warning trailed the presidential aides to never again speak anything that is capable of aggravating the current security situation.
It is not the Service Chiefs’ removal or their tenure that are paramount to Nigerians, though it is glaringly obvious that some people derive personal benefits from the status quo and at every cost supporting its retention.
Such statements can make popularity but with terrible cost. Allowing such obviousness is not only shameful but also absurd, as many condemned Shehu Garba for his utterances.
*Ayobrown, Senior System Analyst, National Pilot Newspaper, writes via

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