Kashim Shettima, former governor of Borno state, says President Muhammadu Buhari is not God and will be corrected on the manner he is addressing Nigeria’s security challenges.
The senator representing Borno central said the successes recorded by the president in the fight against Boko Haram have been overshadowed by the deteriorating security situation in the north-east.
Shettima, who was governor for the most part of the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, made the comment when he featured on an Arise TV programme on Monday.
His comments are amid the outrage that has trailed the abduction of hundreds of students following an attack on a secondary school in Kankara, Katsina state.
The attack, for which Boko Haram claimed responsibility, has renewed calls for the sack of the service chiefs. The presidency had said the security heads would remain in office for as long as President Muhammadu Buhari was satisfied with their efforts.
Shettima said though morale of the troops in the north-east is high, the service chiefs have outlived their usefulness.
“In all fairness to Muhammadu Buhari, we are not questioning him, we are not questioning his commitment to the cause of our people, we are not questioning his passion for restoring peace in the northeast,” he said.
”We respect him. We cherish him. We love him. But don’t deify him because deification is [for] God. Buhari is not God. If there are things that need to be corrected, we are going to point it out to him and equivocally and unambiguously, but without playing to the gallery.”
The senator said the service chiefs have done their best but “their best is no longer enough,” adding: “Justice, equity and fairness, even common sense demand that these service chiefs should go”.
He said: “There’s been some improvement in the security landscape in the state (Borno) especially in the first two years of the Buhari administration, but since then the security situation has been deteriorating and it’s high time federal authorities should fine-tune the security architecture not only in the north-east sub-region but across the whole federation.
“It’s high time the federal government rise to the challenge of leadership, fine-tune the strategies, inject some new blood into the system because as Albert Einstein said, insanity is the act of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
“The current crop of service chiefs have outlived their usefulness, it’s high time President Buhari gets rid of them. We do appreciate their efforts in the past, but their efforts and game plans are not working and it’s high-time we fine-tune the strategies, inject some new blood and there has to be some synergy in the different arms of the security forces. For instance, the chief of air staff is doing a great job but is there any synergy between the army and the air force and the navy, the brutal truth is no. The synergy is very poor.”
He said stakeholders in the region believe that some thing needs to be done and “urgently too to address the security situation in the northeast.”