Abuja (Sundiata Post) – A Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Nigeria, has passed vote of confidence on the immediate past service chiefs and urged Nigerians to disregard the allegation of misappropriation of arms fund against them.
The Convener of the coalition and President, Good Governance Advocacy Initiative, Mr Mustapha Tijani, disclosed this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja. Tijani said the ongoing probe of one billion dollars arms deal was a mission to malign the hard earned integrity of the former chiefs, who he said, devoted their time to serve the nation.
The former service chiefs include retired Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai and Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar. According to him, right from when the immediate past service chiefs were in office, it was clear that several individuals were after them to bring their names into national disrepute.
“First, it was phantom allegations of extra judicial killings at the war front, even hyped by some international organisations. This was also promoted by certain political parties all in the bid to create national security crisis and demoralise the patriotic men fighting at the war front.
“But with time, they turned out to be largely unproven, outright falsehood and deliberate orchestration to weaken the zeal of the service chiefs,” he said. He said that while their tenures were several times extended by President Muhammad Buhari, their reputation, office and name came under needless attacks.
“In spite of all the attacks, they were focused on the job and delivered on the assignment given to them as service chiefs,” he said. The convener said that even though the security challenges especially insurgency in the North East still exist, huge successes were recorded by the former service chiefs.
He said the recent statement credited to the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, in an interview with BBC Hausa was later denied by the NSA. He also called on the Chief of Army Staff to as a matter of official demand, be more civil and professional in his approach to the issue.
He advised the military leadership not to give the fifth columnists the undeserving opportunity to cash in on their statements and actions, especially on matters that are clearly official.
He urged Ministry of Defence, which is directly responsible for such transactions to come out clean on the matter, rather than painting pictures that leaves the public confused, thereby fuelling unfounded conspiracy theories.
Tijani also urged the National Assembly to allow the current service chiefs concentrate on the task of defeating Boko Haram terrorists and other criminals in the country.
He also called on the House committee involved in the probe to do so with utmost sense of sincerity and fear of God. “We also wish to state that the coalition of civil society organizations in Nigeria now pass a vote of confidence on the trio of retired Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai and Air Marshall Sadiq and proclaim a clean bill of health on them against all allegations,” he said.