By Opeyemi Ola
In Nigeria today, it can be safe to say that the Nigerian Military has been stretched beyond its constitutional recognized mandate. It is interesting to note that for every internal security operation in the country, there is always the input of the Nigerian Military and which in most cases, provides the needed solution to the situation.
The list is endless and replete with acts of bravery and an infectious commitment to protecting and preserving the territorial integrity of the country, regardless of location, so long such places fall within the Nigerian space. This feat has elicited accolades from home and abroad for the Nigerian Military for its high display of professionalism in the task of protecting Nigeria from threats of terrorism and other criminal activities.
However, there is an irony that has pervaded the public space so much so that it is depicting a comical situation. As humorous as this might sound, it is what it is and somewhat a comic relief for some of us that are stressed from the hustle and bustle of our everyday life.
It is on the strength of this that I believe that the members of the National Assembly have not committed any sin against Nigerians by calling for the sack of Service Chiefs in the country. Maybe they also need some comic relief from the tedious task of legislative affairs, given the fact that the Nigerian legislatures are amongst the busiest sets in the world. Those in favour say Aye and those against say no. The Ayes have it, gbam.
This also explains why they were compensated continuously with all manners of allowances, including sleeping during plenary allowances in times but not anymore with the renewed accountability and transparency drive of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. I am sure this grudge is responsible for the comical acts emanating from the nook and cranny of the National Assembly, as evident in the call for the sack of Service Chiefs.
Money has stopped going to the National Assembly members. I gathered that some were even angry that the paltry sum given to them for Christmas wasn’t enough to travel home. Yes, everyone understands the new era that PMB is not sharing. I think PMB is quite stingy. Sai Baba, please temper justice with more money to the members of the National Assembly. For we would not agree with your excuse that Ghana Must Go Bags have not been able to come into the country with the closure of our borders.
I think the Service Chiefs are also stingy because they have somewhat refused to patronize these distinguished and honorable members with the much-needed family support programme. Please, I make a passionate appeal to our Service Chiefs to retrace their steps and do the needful in the interest of doctrine of necessity.
But in all, I won’t wholly blame the Service Chiefs because most of them spend their time in the trenches and theatre of operation. So it’s understandable when you go to the Armed Forces Complex to look for patronage, and they are not found on seat. Please let us beg our parliamentarians’ to forgive President Muhammadu Buhari and the Service Chiefs. They will not stay beyond 2023 after they must have ended the scourge of terrorism and other militant activities across the country.
In all of these, I am aware, as most parliamentarians’ in the country know that the Nigerian Military has done well. That the Nigerian Military has been awarded home and abroad for its sacrifices to humanity is a known fact. It is the fault of the new system.
To go back to the crux of this piece, retaining the Service Chiefs to finish the good work is a doctrine of necessity. No one can advise the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria better than the Commander-in-Chief himself who rose to the rank of a Major General in the Nigerian Army.
To do otherwise would be like a mechanic advising a surgeon in the theatre. Well, in Nigeria, anything is possible. But not everything that is possible is right under the Muhammadu Buhari lens. Have you ever seen President Muhammadu Buhari without his glasses? It is for the reason that it is aimed at scrutinizing everything that concerns national interest.
This is a hard fact, and there is a need for the commissioning of research on why the thinking pattern of a General always differs from that of your everyday politician and why he has indeed elected to retain the Service Chiefs. I am sure the research work would indeed reveal to them why President Muhammadu Buhari has retained the Service Chiefs. Please, I beg to give an expo; don’t change horses in midstream and don’t fix it when it isn’t broken. I hope this expo helps a great deal. Please don’t thank me for this; it is my little contribution to unraveling the mystery.
If not for anything, I am convinced the outcome of the research work will reveal to them that the Service Chiefs have done well, and there is still more to be done. And in parliamentary parlance it is called “doctrine of necessity” and if they want to find out more, they should dial the numbers of former Senate President David Mark or Senator Bala Muhammad.
In conclusion, it must be stated that what is being experienced in Nigeria is a manifestation of a resolve to leave Nigeria in good stead for socio-economic development where all Nigerians would be proud of. Are we familiar with the famous word on marble that states that “These generations of Nigerians, and indeed future generations, have no country other than Nigeria. We shall remain here and salvage it together.” Remembering the author of this word on marble is a first step to understanding the doctrine of necessity. Those in favor say Aye and those against say no. The Ayes have it. Gbam!
Ola is a former member of the National Assembly and wrote this piece from Ekiti State.