By Joshua Egbodo Abuja
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibokete Ekwe Ibas, has urged the House of Representatives to, as it amends the nation’s Armed forces Act, make the appointment of Service Chiefs tenured and rotational. Ibas made the call yesterday at a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Defence in Abuja, to gather stakeholders’ inputs on fi ve Bills. Represented by Lt Commodore G.I Ubong at the hearing, the CNS said the appointment of Service Chiefs by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces should be made tenured and rotational among serving military offi cers in all the six geo-political zones, adding that an amendment to the existing Armed Forces Act was necessary to bolster the morale of serving military offi cers.
Also, in his submissions, Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (retd), who was represented by the Permanent Sectretary, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni, said Section 18 of the Armed Forces Act 2004 should be deleted “so that the President can exercise his constitutional powers to appoint Service Chiefs.” Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, however, said the Nigerian Armed Forces needed to be strengthened to combat the insurgency in the North-east. “Th e House of Representatives stands ready to play its part working in concert with the Executive branch towards proper funding and support of the Police to play its role.
Th e armed Forces are doing a great job of assisting in maintenance of internal security currently as the Police are ill equipped, improperly manned and too weak fi nancially to perform its duties. “It has also become necessary and urgent to re-examine the current architecture ofpolicing in Nigeria to make it structurally strong and eff ective. Th e spate of insecurity, rampant kidnappings, terrorism, civil strife and threats to our corporate existence as a nation are too weighty and too important to be left unaddressed or to continue to be treated in a business as usual manner,” he said. Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Muktar Aliyu, in his welcome remarks, said the Committee would ensure that the nation’s security architecture “is strengthened so as to perform its primary role of protection of lives and properties of citizens.”