By; IYOKPO J. EGBODO, Abuja
Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ekwe Ibas has called on the House of Representatives to amend the armed forces Act, and make provisions for the appointment of Service Chiefs to be tenured and rotational across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Ibas stated this at a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Defence in Abuja.
The CNS who was represented by Lt. Commodore G.I. Ubong at the hearing, said the appointment of Service Chiefs by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces should be made tenured and rotational among serving military officers in all the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, adding that an amendment to the existing Armed Forcea Act was necessary to bolster the morale of serving military officers.
Minister of Defence Brig- Gen Mansur Dan Ali (rtd) who was represented by the Permanent Sectretary, Amb. Danjuma Sheni, also said Section 18 of the Armed Forces Act 2004 should be deleted so that the President can exercise his constitutional powers of appointing Service Chiefs, stressing that the appointment of Service Chiefs under the existing Act was in conflict with constitution.
Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has however stated that the Nigerian Armed Forces needs to be strenghtened to combat the insuregency in the North- East region of the country.
Dogara while declaring the hearing open stated; “The House of Representatives stands ready to play its part working in concert with the Executive branch towards proper funding and support of the Police to play its role. The armed Forces are doing a great job of assisting in maintenance of internal Security currently as the Police is ill equipped, improperly manned and too weak financially to perform its duties.
“It has also become necessary and urgent to re-examine the current architecture of policing in Nigeria to make it structurally strong and effective. The spate of insecurity, rampant kidnappings, terrorism, civil strife and threats to our corporate existence as a nation are too weighty and too important to be left unaddressed or to continue to be treated in a business as usual manner”.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Muktar Aliyu in his welcome remarks said the Committee will ensure that the nations security architecture is strengthened so as to perform its primary role of protection of lives and properties of citizens.