A civil society group, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA), has lamented that President Muhammadu Buhari made changes to the offices of service Chiefs without accommodating the interest of the Igbo Speaking States of the South East of Nigeria even after five years of his systematic marginalization of the South East of Nigeria in the scheme of top security Architectures.
HURIWA reacted against the backdrop of the new appointments in which all the service chiefs deemed to have overstayed retired and were relieved of their positions just as the Rights Advocacy group said it was patently obvious that President Muhammadu Buhari hates Ndigbo otherwise he could have used the opportunities offered by the vacancies in the positions of service Chiefs to prove naysayers wrong that he does not Harbor any forms of hatred or revulsion for Ndigbo by nominating an officer of South East of Nigeria to head one of the branches of the armed security forces. “The South East of Nigeria with a population of over 50 million does not have any representative in the National Defence Council of Nigeria and this has been the ugly situation since the last five years as if the current administration is waging a war of attrition against Ndigbo. This is pathetic,” HURIWA protested.
HURIWA said the President Muhammadu Buhari has continued in his breach of section 14(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended on federal Character principles and sections 42(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of on discrimination against any Ethnicity on the ground of ethnicity.
Specifically, section 14(2) and 42(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended provide thus: ”
Under Section 14(2). It is hereby, accordingly, declared that:
(a) sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority.
(b) the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government: and
(c) the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
- (1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:-
(a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or
(b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions. Whilst section 14(3) states that appointments into political or seven e offices must comply with federal character Principle so representatives of all ethnicity are represented or at least it would be shown that there is no preponderance of a single ethnicity in the composition of government offices. HURIWA argues that the continuous marginalization of South East of Nigeria means that the security of the people may not be considered important since nobody will speak for the South East of Nigeria when matters of security are being discussed at the National Defence Council.
HURIWA recalled that a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said he has named the replacements for the sacked chiefs.
The new Service Chiefs are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
This was announced on Tuesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina who noted that the service chiefs have also retired from service.
Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.