Anti-terror group ‘disappointed’ with Senate’s call for sack of service chiefs

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The Coalition Against Terrorism and Extremism (CATE) has expressed its disappointment with the Senate over its call for the sack of the heads of federal security forces.

The centre affirmed its support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s support of the service chiefs and advised the lawmakers to resign for ‘failing the Armed Forces and the nation through delayed budget consideration and approval.’

In a statement signed by CATE National Coordinator Gabriel Onoja, the group said instead of politicking, it expects the Senate to craft anti-terrorism legislation that has been sorely needed to defeat terrorism.

‘The Coalition Against Terrorism (CATE) is totally disappointed with the decision by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, asking the service chiefs to resign. The Senate erred in this misguided resolution just as it has been erring in the performance of its duties,’ the group said in its statement.

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‘Our disappointment is not in any way mitigated by the knowledge that the lawmakers have a history of pursuing agendas that are at variance with the yearnings of the constituents and that the oversight powers bestowed on them by the Constitution have consistently been abused in pursuit of lining their individual pockets.

‘It is nonetheless appalling that the Senate did not even avail itself the face-saving measure of shopping for a unicorn by having a credible member of the Red Chamber to move the motion on something as important but relied on Senator Ali Ndume, representing Borno south and chairman of the committee on the army, who has not satisfactorily proven that he is not part of Nigeria’s Boko Haram problem.

‘The lawmakers worsened the situation by adopting resolutions whose import they understand even less than they understood the dynamics fueling Nigeria’s security breaches and the efforts that military leaders under President Muhammadu Buhari have made to curtail them.

‘To have set the war on terrorism back on the scale the Senate has done is unfair to all concerned. They are unfair to President Buhari, General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Defence Staff; Lt-General Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff; Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff; and Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff.

‘The Senate has never shown a commitment to support the efforts of these military leaders and President Buhari in fighting terrorism and other crimes in the country. This latest outing by the Senate is a clear indication that whilst the President and the service chiefs are working day and night to address the insecurity in its multiple facets, the Senate prefers to play politics with the lives of the citizens.

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‘The lawmakers failed woefully in crafting and amending anti-terrorism legislation that has been sorely needed to defeat terrorism, which consequently left the military to be overstretched and compelled to fight the terrorist with only strategy and military might. We are therefore wondering when the Senators will resign their positions for having failed to exert international pressure on countries that have been fueling terrorism in and around Nigeria by covertly funding and supporting Boko Haram.

‘We demand to know when the Senators will resign for sabotaging the anti-terrorism efforts through delayed budget consideration and approval, distracting the Armed Forces with pointless inquisitions. They should accept responsibility for keeping the country’s teeming youth in deprivation and poverty that are the main drivers of the insecurity in the land.

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‘CATE calls on the Service Chiefs to disregard the drama from the Senate and focus on carrying out the assignment given to them by President Buhari,’ the group said.

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