By Bankole Adewale
The Concerned Professionals’ Congress (CPC) has endorsed a call by the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Enoch Adeboye, that replacing the Service Chiefs hastily may create fresh problems capable of compounding the security challenges currently facing nation.
The highly-respected cleric who spoke to journalists at the weekend in Ebute-Meta, Lagos, at the RCCG’s Throne of Grace headquarters after a thanksgiving sermon delivered by the Assistant General Overseer, Administration and Personnel, Johnson Odesola, said that it was obvious that the service chiefs were working hard to combat insecurity in the country according to the situation on ground.
‘’I believe the service chiefs are working…They have been studying the situation of the country in terms of security and would have some plans they are working on. If they are just changed, the new service chiefs would have to start all over again.”
The group, in a joint statement issued in Abuja yesterday by its Chief Media Strategist, Emeka Nwankpa, and the Regional Rapporteur (North), Baba Al-Kasim, described Adeboye’s call for public understanding and support to the service chiefs as the highest manifestation of illumination and statesmanship urgently needed at the nation currently wades through its crucial moment.
The group maintained that the current security challenges in the country were symptoms of socio-economic and political problems that many years of incremental leadership failures, impunity, bad governance and misplacement of priorities had created in the country resulting in restiveness in parts of the country, pointing out that the present crop of leadership of the armed forces and other security agencies in the country were now left to contend with the practical fallout and consequences of years of misrule.
The group noted that notwithstanding the obvious challenges, the security forces under the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gabriel Olonisakin, and the service chiefs have courageously turned the tide against insurgents in the counter-terrorism operations in the North-East even up to the Federal Capital Territory, militancy in the Niger Delta, kidnappings in the South West as well as the senseless killings in Benue/Plateau axis.
‘’These feats and many more are no mean feats. Under the watch of the CDS, General Gabriel Olonisakin, and the service chiefs, democracy was restored in the Gambia by our gallant armed forces with the active support and understanding of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“There is no doubt that in the coming weeks, a drastic change of dynamics in the ongoing joint security operations against all form of insecurity across the country is bound to take place. We hereby call for more prayers, support and understanding from the civilian populace,” Nwankpa said.
The group further maintained that the armed forces and families deserved more appreciation and support owing to scores of service personnel that had lost their lives thereby paying the supreme price in combat operations to keep the nation safe, secure and stable.
The civil advocacy group praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his total commitment and support to the Armed Forces of Nigeria under the synergy-driven leadership of Olonisakin and the service chiefs.
Mr Nwankpa contended that his selection of the top echelon of the Armed Forces has brought immense gains especially in the entire North East which has been rescued from Boko Haram.
‘’President Buhari deserves kudos for putting together selecting these courageous military chiefs led by the tireless CDS, General Abayomi Olonisakin. The present threats to our national security and stability are unprecedented in form, scale and range but our defence forces have been very resilient for the sake of our nation.
‘’Our gallant soldiers have paid the supreme price. Our military leaders have been resilient in rising to grave security challenges by dislodging criminal elements threatening the security, stability, peace and unity of the country. The dynamics of the war against terror in the days ahead will take a new positive turn. We commend their efforts.
‘’We salute the tireless Chief of Defence, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin whose synergy-driven leadership of the service chiefs and other security agencies has galvanized the entire national security architecture to effectively tackle Boko Haram and other national security threats’’, he said.
The group urged Nigerians irrespective of race, region, religion or political leaning to close ranks and fully support the military and other security forces to confront armed banditry, kidnapping, Boko Haram and other non-state actors in the interest of the peace, unity, stability, health and sovereignty of the nation.