Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate Orji Uzor Kalu has disclosed that the recently appointed service chiefs need time to understand Nigeria’s security system.
Prior to their appointments, the service chiefs, all of whom are military generals, have overseen various administrative and operational departments in their respective services.
But Mr. Kalu, a former governor of Abia, told Channels TV on Sunday that the service chiefs appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to salvage the worsening insecurity in the country will need about six months to understand their mandate.
In January, Mr. Buhari appointed Lucky Irabor, chief of defense staff; Ibrahim Attahiru, chief of army staff; Awwal Gambo, chief of naval staff, and Isiaka Amao, chief of air staff.
Mr. Kalu’s hypothesis is coming on the heels of the recent uptick in unabated kidnappings and killing of university students in Kaduna and Benue amid other uprising in other parts of the country.
The senator insists that the upsurge in criminalities in the country means the new appointees won’t be able to immediately improve the country’s security situation.
Responding to questions on the steps the National Assembly is taking to address the formation of security outfits in some regions, Mr Kalu said: “There is no day on earth that we sat in the National Assembly without talking about insecurity.
“We have been very concerned. We are making a very good effort to amend the Constitution. We are working around the clock to see how everything that is amenable is amended to set the country rolling.
“When people were shouting to remove the service chiefs, it is not the issue of service chiefs and the new service chiefs you’re bringing now need between four, five to six months to be able to know the security system. It is not an immediate thing, it is not just removing one and bringing another that solves the problem.
“It is going to be strategic, it is going to be professionally and openly handled. You need equipment. You look at the neighborhood for about five to six months to be able to rearrange the security architecture of Nigeria.
“Mind you, we are just lawmakers. We are not in the executive, our duty is to make the law for the executive to implement. The national assembly has never had unity like we are today.”
The former governor hence called for a re-adoption and strengthening of the local government system, saying: “Most of these insurgencies are coming because of the collapse of the local government system where a lot of young men and women used to go to work, where you have a lot of councilors. When I was governor, councilors used to give a lot of road repairs, grading of roads, culvert repairs. There is a need to go back to that system.”
“It is a pity that this is the first time that people of Nigeria will go to war with itself. The government has done everything right but we have not gotten security where it is supposed to be,” he added.