Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson, says President Muhammadu Buhari has not succumbed to calls for the sack of the service chiefs because he sees what Nigerians do not see.
Shehu said this when he featured on a Television Continental (TVC) programme on Sunday.In 2020, Nigeria witnessed a spike in killings by Boko Haram insurgents, bandits and kidnappers.
To address the situation, the national assembly on at least four occasions asked the president to sack the service chiefs for poor performance.
Other stakeholders such as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) also said the military is overwhelmed and needs fresh ideas to stop the killings.
But the presidency has instead insisted that the service chiefs will remain in office for as long as Buhari is satisfied with their performance.
Speaking during the TV programme, Shehu said the chief of army staff and his colleagues serve at the pleasure of the president who has not sacked them because “he is seeing things that critics are not seeing”.
“It is because he is seeing things that critics are not seeing. He is seeing things most people don’t see,” he said in response to why the security heads are still in office.
“It is not a tenured appointment. There is no part of the law that says chief of army staff must serve for two years. Then, after two years, he must go.
“He serves at the pleasure of the president. Now, the president has said again he will make changes. When will he make those changes? It is entirely up to him. I think Nigerians should give him the benefit of the doubt.”
He added that the Buhari administration has not been able to solve the country’s security challenges because the problems are “mutating”.
“This country has always been challenged by issues of insecurity. No country is crime-free,” he said, adding: “The challenges are mutating … but all hands are now on deck.
“From the resolutions we are seeing particularly from the president, 2021 is going to be very decisive in dealing with Boko Haram, banditry, and kidnapping.”