The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described the appointment of new service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari as late in the day, saying much harm has already been done to national security.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has welcomed the appointment of new service chiefs and urged them to consolidate on the achievements of their predecessors in keeping the country safe and peaceful.
The PDP also demanded an immediate inquest into the tenure of the last service chiefs to unravel the circumstances behind the security lapses and alleged compromises as well as accusation of involvement in the alleged looting of funds meant for the equipping and welfare of troops in the war front.
The party in a statement on Tuesday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said the “belated replacement of the outgoing wearied service chiefs, after much damage to our nation, shows President Buhari as a leader who has always refused to heed to wise counsel by well-meaning Nigerians but continually leads our country into dire straits.”
“Such unpatriotic, self-conceited and narrow-minded approach to leadership is responsible for the escalated insecurity and avoidable loss of lives; economic recession with excruciating hardship as well as widened divisions in our land under Buhari’s watch.”
“If Mr. President had acted when our party and other well-meaning Nigerians including the two chambers of the National Assembly impressed upon him to do so, the security situation in the country would not have degenerated to this abysmal level.
“We hope President Buhari uses this as a turning point to learn to listen to wise counsel and not always set our nation on the path of destruction before acting.
“Nevertheless, our party expresses hope that the new service chiefs will brace up to the challenges of our nation and note that their appointment at this time, more than at any other point in our national history, demands a huge sense of commitment, responsibility and determination to secure our nation and restore peace, order and national cohesiveness in our polity.
“Our party urges the new service chiefs to take urgent steps to restore professionalism, boost the morale of our troops and ensure not to fall into the indolence, corruption, recklessness, abuse of process and partisanship that characterized the tenure of the last service chiefs.
“The new commanders must note that Nigerians are looking up to them as professionals to remove terrorists, bandits and other outlaws ravaging our nation from our landscape,” the PDP said.
APC eyes consolidation
Secretary of the APC Caretaker Committee Sen. John J. Akpan Udoedeghe in a statement on Tuesday asked the new service chiefs to be committed to the discharge of their duties.
“The Party calls for public support for the new service chiefs as they perform their constitutional roles of protecting our country’s territorial integrity and tackle emerging security threats. We also urge increased synergy among the armed forces in achieving these tasks.
“Recent incidents in the country has triggered quite divisive rhetoric in some quarters. It is counterproductive and dangerous to national security when we put ethnic spins to issues affecting us. In tackling security threats, we should criminalise crime, not ethnicity.
“As a nation, our strength remains in our diversity and we should continue to forge unity in that diversity. We urge peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding among Nigerians, irrespective of the part of the country we chose to live and work,” the party said.