Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Sunday urged the new Service Chiefs to accept constructive criticism in the war against insurgency.
He said they must ensure effective collaboration with the civil population if the insurgents are to be finished off.
The governor spoke in Maiduguri after receiving the Service Chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor. They were on their first operation visit to the state.
Zulum said: “In a democratic setting, the military is an established system which is subject to constructive criticisms by well-meaning citizens.
“Therefore, you should accept constructive criticism in good faith to enhance productivity in your operations
“For us to succeed, there must be effective and robust cooperation, collaboration and coordination among yourselves, especially between the Army and the Air Force.
“Incidentally, the Chief of Air Staff and the Chief of Army Staff were coursemates. We are not expecting anything less.
Read Also: ‘I have lost respect for Zulum’ – Femi Fani Kayode reacts to allegations of Christians, white men being Boko Haram members
“Enhancing military-civil relation is the sine qua non to peace. Bridging the trust deficit between the government, the civil population and the military is key to stabilising this nation.”
The governor added that the Boko Haram has taken an international dimension; therefore the collaboration with neighbouring country is crucial in the fight.
To him, the marine component of the operation has been missing, especially in the shore of the Lake Chad, adding that something has to be urgently done about it.
General Irabor promised that the Service Chiefs will bring new energy and vigour in the fight against terrorism in the country.
He said: “On behalf of the Service Chiefs, I pledge that there will be a new leaf in making sure that our operation receives a boost.
“That does not mean there was no boost. Of course, we believe the operational objectives have not been achieved yet and that is why we are here.
“This means the more we do, the more we get to our objective, so we can only ask and pray for your understanding that is required to complete this process.
“Let me stress that peace and security is the responsibility of everybody. We only play a leading role. We will engage other stakeholders in this process as well,” the CDS said.
Maj.-Gen. Irabor was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo and Chief of Air Staff Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao.
Also on Sunday, Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, speaking during a visit to President Buhari in Daura, said he would expect the Service Chiefs to work closely with state governors who know what the people need and the black spots in their domains.
Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, charged them to work hard to meet expectations, expressing confidence in their capacity.
Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, urged them to listen to people for intelligence.
Former Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Jonah Wuyep (Rtd), expressed confidence that the Service Chiefs would succeed.
“I would expect the government to give them all the support to do their best. I expect to see more synergy. Let them work as a team and carry out more intelligence gathering,” he said.
The Arewa Youth Initiative for Peace and Good Leadership urged the Service Chiefs to show patriotism and integrity in the discharge of their duties.
Its President, Mohammed Rilwanu, said in a statement: “They should shun corrupt practices in the discharge of their duties; corruption gives birth to bad leadership which may lead to failure.
“They should not see this appointment as an opportunity to embezzle money but an opportunity to leave behind a good lasting legacy that Nigerians will not forget.”
The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) said the appointment of the Service Chiefs without confirmation by the National Assembly is illegal.
The Association said it was impunity and violation of the July 2, 2013 judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Its Capoon, Abuja, Abiola Owoaje, said in a statement: “This illegality casts a shadow over the legitimacy of the newly announced Service Chiefs and underpins a worrisome culture of impunity at the level of the Presidency.
“Considering the imperative to ensure that the Nigerian Armed Forces receive the broad-based support required to face the daunting security challenges presented across the nation, we advise the President to immediately approach the National Assembly in obedience to subsisting court orders, to correct these illegal appointments.”
The Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) urged the Chief of Defence Staff to end the extortion of motorists and commuters by soldiers.
It alleged that the soldiers use youths to commit the extortion.
The expressways the extortion allegedly occur are Owerri-Onitsha, Owerri-Port Harcourt, Enugu-Benue, Asaba-Benin, Owerri-Aba, Aba-PortHarcourt, Umuahia-Akwa Ibom-Calabar, Enugu-Awka, among others.
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