Metele: Afenifere, Ohanaeze Demand Service Chiefs’ Sack

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The Pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, and the apex Igbo Youth body Ohanaeze Youth Council yesterday called for the immediate sack of all the nation’s Service Chiefs, following the recent killing of over 100 soldiers by the dreaded terrorist group, Boko Haram insurgents in Melete, Borno state.
The Pan-Yoruba group which stated this at the end of its monthly meeting in Akure, Ondo state capital, lashed out at the Federal government for being indifferent and insensitive to the killings by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The group said “First, it kept quiet for six days after the incident and when it found its voice there were no soothing words for the bereaved families
“We were more pained at this tragic and monumental loss by the high insensitivity the Federal Government displayed on this matter.”
Afenifere also expressed concerns over the massacre of the ill-equipped Nigerian troops despite the injection of $1billion by the Federal government some few months ago, to equip the military to fight the Boko Haram.
Reading the group communique after it meeting, the Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr Yinka Odumakin said “the massacre of our ill-equipped troops by the evil sect raises serious concerns about the state of our armed forces to combat readiness in spite of the unappropriated $1b the government claimed it disbursed months back to equip our military against insurgency.”
The communique read “Meeting was devastated by the killings of over 100 Nigerian soldiers in Melete a week ago by the dreaded Boko Haram terror group.
“It had hardly made the bland statements before descending into the gutter of political quarrelling over the killings at a time a more sensitive leadership should have declared national mourning for the high casualties recorded which many countries never matched in wars that lasted for several years.
“Afenifere demands as a first step the immediate removal of the Service Chiefs who are already in their retirement years but are still kept in service by the President in what many have interpreted as partisan needs as we move towards the next elections.
“Their illegal stay, in spite of not being effective, it has equally killed morale in the armed forces as three sets of officers have now had their careers stagnated.
“The sack of the Service Chiefs should be followed with a probe of what has happened to defence allocations as we as a people cannot reconcile our extremely vulnerable troops and wailing soldiers in the forest with the heavy spendings the government claimed it has committed to security.”
The group however sympathised with the families of the officers and men of the armed forces who lost their lives while defending the country and said “it is our prayer that God will comfort them and intervene in the affairs of our country and give us a leadership that is more than equal to the challenges we face.
The group also lamented over the continued rate of kidnap in South west region, especially Ondo state and said “meeting was briefed about the continuous criminal activities of armed herdsmen in the South West as evident in the kidnapping of six Ondo indigenes on November 14 as they were returning from Akure to Ikare Akoko.
“The people who were kidnapped at Ago Ajayi, a farm settlement between Ose and Ikare in Akokoland included five men a woman snatched in two cars.
“They were released after three days in captivity after being subjected to live threatening experiences and ransom paid.
“Their abductors made them view the horror of decapitated bodies of their previously Killed victims as they wielded AK 47 rifles.
“These unhinged security challenges continue to daily show that the country’s security architecture has collapsed under the crushing weight of unitary arrangement that concentrates the country’s Security apparatus only in the hands of the Federal Govt.
“We cannot continue without decentralising the police for proper security at state levels.”
The Afenifere group also condemned some elements for using the name of Senator Ayo Fasanmi and Afenifere to prosecute divisive agenda.
Odumakin said “We ordinarily would have ignored the antics of some APC politicians who are using the name of Senator Ayo Fasanmi to prosecute divisive agenda as they normally do at elections seasons in recent time without regards to what they are doing with old age.
“We are constrained to make this once and for all clarification that Senator Ayo Fasanmi has not been active in Afenifere for some years and could therefore not be the Leader of the Afenifere group as being wrongly disseminated by a section of the media.
The group called on Fasanmi “ to make it difficult for people without noble intention to continue to use his name for unedifying purposes.”
Also, the apex Igbo youth body, Ohanaeze Youth Council, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up to his constitutional responsibility and eliminate the continued killing and kidnapping of innocent citizens in Nigeria.
The group urged Buhari to send the current security chiefs on compulsory retirement over alleged misappropriation of one billion dollars security funds approved to them by the presidency.
It said the alleged corruption in the nation’s security agencies had hindered the war against insurgency, advising the federal government to properly equip the security agencies to enable them tackle insurgents’ activities in the country.
The Ohanaeze’s position was made known, in a statement signed by the National President of OYC, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, OYC National President and forwarded to newsmen yesterday afternoon.
The apex Igbo youth organization, however condoled the families of the victims of Boko Haram attack which occurred in Maiduguri, Borno state, which also led to the killing of Nigeria soldiers.