Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), says the nation’s service chiefs will remain in office as far as the president remains satisfied with their performance.
Shehu, who featured during an Arise TV program on Monday night, describe the clamor for the sack of the service chiefs are “out of place”.
During the TV interview, Shehu opined that the tenure of the service chiefs does not expire, saying the law does not prescribe such term limit.
“I am not aware that the tenure of service chiefs is subject to any law or regulation that is clearly stated. They serve at the pleasure of the president,” he said.
“If the president is satisfied with their performance, he keeps them. And the buck stops on his table with all due respect to the feelings of Nigerians.
“The clamor for the sack is out of place considering that the president is not subject to the opinion of the opposition political party which has clamored for this all the time.”
Shehu said contrary to the view of the opposition that “they have a role” in the tenure of service chiefs, it is “entirely up to him (the president) to decide”.
“He decides who he keeps as a service chief and for how long,” he added.
Last Saturday, Boko haram killed at least 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno, a horrific killing that sparked fresh call for the sacking of the country’s service chiefs.
Boko Haram was reported to have first tied up the farmers, who were working in rice fields, before slitting their throats.
Shehu had said the farmers had no military clearance to be on the rice farms when the attack happened.
His reaction was greeted by outrage on social media as many Nigerians lambasted him for blaming the dead.
Explaining further last night, Shehu said, “My suggestion in the earlier news report is that the military had not certified those areas as being free of landmines and terrorists’ intrusions. Whether there are processes for getting licenses or commissions, it is not for me, the military is in a better position to describe those processes.”