The seeming romance between the executive and legislative arms of government may soon end following brewing crisis over the refusal of the former to obey the later on calls for the sacking of service chiefs.
This is even as it was gathered that the president may have extended the tenure of the service chiefs again. But, Nigerians insist that the commander in chief, rather than the service chiefs, should be made to account for the upsurge in killings in the country.
But, while the Senate is requesting for their removal to pave way for fresh ideas on tackling the terrorists, the House of Representatives says they want account from the president on what has been expended and done so far on the war against terrorism, and possibly, way forward on curtailing the menace.
But, Ibrahim Shekarsu, Senator, representing Kano central district says president Muhammadu Buhari is breaking the law in keeping the armed forces service chiefs beyond the mandatory 35 years of service and almost all of them are above 60.
Shekarau, who disclosed this on Thursday when he appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily said that the service chiefs are not staff of the president but people engaged to work for the Nigerian people under a scheme of service as specified for service chiefs.
He said: “There is one point I think the president is missing and many Nigerians as well. The military is part of the public service and it is governed by the scheme of service.
“In the scheme of service as it is in the public service including the military, there are conditions of when you are to leave automatically. You either attain the age of 60 or you put in service of 35 years. “Whichever comes first you are supposed to retire. None of them is less than 35 and I think the chief of defence staff has put in 39 years. All the others except the chief of defence staff are more than 60.
“So even if Mr. President has found them indispensable, allow them to retire just like any other public service as the rule has specified and you can hire them as anything else.”
When asked if President Buhari is breaking the law, the Kano lawmaker replied in the affirmative saying that President Buhari is not adhering to the rules as the continuous stay of the service chiefs even when they are due to leave is not legal.
Shekarau also talked about the suggestion by Governor Zulum of Borno State asking for mercenaries saying that it won’t be proper to hire mercenaries to tackle Boko Haram insurgents as it won’t help the morale of Nigerian troops.
Already, expectations are high as Buhari has agreed to honour the invitation of the House of Representatives, but not certain whether he is going to address the joint house even as the date is yet to be fixed.
However, calls for sacking of service chiefs have been on not only from the National Assembly but also from organisations and some otable individuals.
Nigerians are waiting with bated breadth, whether the president would accede to the current agitation for change of strategy in the war against terrorism.