By Aiyeku Timothy
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the newly appointed service chiefs that he will support them with his prayers as they lead the fight against terrorism, especially in Nigeria’s North-Eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, who stated this in a piece on Friday, titled, ‘Inside PMB’s First Meeting With New Service Chiefs’, said Buhari urged them to give responsibilities to trusted hands.
President appointed four new service chiefs on Tuesday after much pressure from Nigerians that he bring in fresh hands to pilot the country’s anti-terrorism war.
The new service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor as Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru as Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao as Chief of Air Staff.
Adesina said the President met with the service chiefs on Wednesday and assured the new service chiefs of his prayers and support, as “victory comes from the divine powers”.
Adesina in the piece quoted Buhari as telling the service chiefs, “You know the stage we were in 2015, and you know the stage we are now, and the undertakings we made.
“In terms of equipment and other logistics, we are doing our best, and will do more. Give officers you can trust command, and support them. Respect seniority and intellectualism, but also use people who can deliver, those who show courage and leadership qualities.
“I will be praying for you. I assure you of that.”
However, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has argued that no level of prayers can win the Boko Haram war, noting that the Federal Government must equip the military to function optimally.
The rights advocate told foreign media that “They (new service chiefs) should ask for the necessary equipment to fight the war on terror.
“Right now, the equipment is not there and I am speaking from personal knowledge and experience; I have defended more military officers and soldiers than any lawyer in Nigeria when it comes to taking them to court martials particularly for those who are alleged to have committed war crimes or those who demanded ammunition to fight the war on terror but who were otherwise charged with mutiny.
“Some of them are in jail now and we are working to get all of them out now because they ought not to have been sent to jail. Those who stole the money meant for fighting the war on terror, the government has to recover the money and use it to buy weapons to prosecute the war on terror.” he stated.