Don’t pass 2021 budget until Buhari tackles insecurity, elders tell NASS


Some elders across the country have called on the National Assembly not to pass the 2021 budget pending before it until President Muhammadu Buhari implements the resolutions of the two chambers of the legislature that demanded the sack of service chiefs.

The elders insisted that President Buhari must not look back again in sacking the service chiefs, saying the ovation was loud and clear enough for him to listen Nigerians on insecurity, even as they flayed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai’s statement warning officers of the Nigerian Army against embarking on a coup to change democratic government in the country, saying Buratai’s alarm was his imaginary thought aimed at diverting Nigerians attention from the failures of service chiefs.

In a statement made available to Blueprint Saturday, which was signed by the National Coordinator of the Coalition of Nigeria Elders for Peace and Good Governance (CONEPAGG), Engr. Zana Goni, Coordinators for South West, South East, North West, North Central, North East and South South, Prof. Adebola Adeboye, Dr Ugwuanyi Emeka, Sheik Ibrahim Mohammed, Barr. Peter Shima, Hajiya Zainab Bulama, Dr Solomon Dagogo, respectively, the elders said Buratai’s warning was unnecessary since the Nigerian military has shown all allegiance not only to President Muhammadu Buhari but the entire constitutional orders in the country.

Recall that the Chief of Army Staff had, while decorating the 39 newly promoted Major Generals, said he was aware that some generals were being approached and his eyes are on them, vowing that the Nigerian Army will never tolerate any agent of destabilization bent on scuttling the current democratic dispensation.

“Democracy has come to stay. We will not tolerate any agent of destabilization. The years of military misadventure in politics have never carried us anywhere. It is over,” he had warned.

But reacting to it, the elders called on the president not to hearken to the military chiefs’ antics through the army boss, tasking him to go ahead to relieve them of their positions before the country is completely overrun by adversaries.

The statement reads: “Nobody is planning any coup. As a matter of fact, Nigerians are happy with democracy. They are only fed up with insecurity and all the service chiefs who, in spite of their seeming failures, have failed to toe the path of honour and resign from their offices. While we appreciate his right and authority to warn his officers against engaging in any act inimical to the growth and sustenance of democracy in our country, we must say that Nigerians and all its security services have moved beyond coup.

“The alarm by the Chief of Army Staff is imaginary, with desperate intent to divert attention of not only the President but also Nigerians, who have all seen the clear failures of the security chiefs and have all come out with a resolve that they be shown the way out immediately.

“We wish to state here that no matter the antics of Buratai and his likes, Nigerians of good conscience have refused to be gullible to their antics, which we consider unpatriotic to the country given the number of people dying and those harmed in one way or the other besides the unquantifiable destructions of both public and private assets.

“We humbly once again, call on the president to listen to the voice of reason by sacking the service chiefs with a view not only to injecting fresh ideas into solutions to the insecurity in the country but also transform our security sector.

“The president must as a matter of urgency, replace them with younger officers with the zeal and commitment to perform. We reiterate our earlier call on the National Assembly not to pass the 2021 budget until the president respects its resolution on the sack of service chiefs.”

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