Conference of Civil Society Organisations for Peace, Security and National Development has faulted the call by the National Assembly and other pressure groups demanding the sack of military chiefs saying the call was ill timed and diversionary considering the achievements the military has recorded in fight against insurgency.
The CSOs at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday jointly addressed by its conveners, Mr Mike Msuaan and Mr Adamu Kabir Matazu, argued that the military deserved support from all strata of society considering the complexity of fighting insurgency.
“We were all witnesses to the reaction that greeted the pronouncement by the Federal Government of plans to withdraw the military from the North East.
“The whole nation was unanimous of the need for the military to stay longer in the troubled region; this is a testimony that significant feet have been recorded in the fight against insurgency.
“There is no denying the fact that the criminals seem to be regrouping and restrategising as has been reports of rise in criminal activities in the north east in particular leading to loss of several lives and destruction of property.
“However, the call for the head of security chiefs is not the solution. The least expected of patriotic citizens at the moment is to show solidarity with the military.
“Recently, the governor of Benue state was quoted to have applauded the Army for saving him from bandits who shot at him.
“The same governor who is noted for criticising the Army in the past recounted the efforts of the Army in returning security to the troubled land and urged the army to stay much longer,” the group stated.
Continuing, the CSOs explained that they have been involved in peace efforts in the country and most recently in the north east and can therefore appraise the performance of the security agencies.
“We want to commend the vision, and determination of Lt. Gen. Buratai and the Nigerian Army for the commitment to dismantle any edifice of criminality and insecurity anywhere in Nigeria.
“Across the country, From Boko Haram, to farmer/herders crisis, to the ethnic killings in Taraba, to banditry, cattle rustling and others, Lt. Gen. Buratai has frustrated and destroyed their safe heaven.
“We call on the army to intensify this onslaught on criminals across the country. The Nigerian Army must sustain their gallantry within the rules of engagement. Never to allow criminals frustrate the success recorded so far.
“Security is the concern of all Nigerians, we therefore appeal to Nigerians not to dampen the morale of the Nigerian military especially when criminals attack. We must show solidarity with the Army believing that they are out to protect our communities.
“Criminals live in a society; they don’t exist in a vacuum, and as such, Nigerians must therefore collaborate with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to volunteer information on the hideouts and whereabouts of these criminals, trusting that such criminal hideouts will be busted.
We have noticed with dismay the trend to call for the resignation of security chiefs whenever criminals attack. This is capable of weakening the determination of service chiefs,” the group added.
The CSOs called on the service chiefs to sustain their resolve to rid the country of criminals. (NAN)