By Seun Adeuyi
The Presidency has said that the clamour for the sacking of service chiefs is ‘out of place’.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President Muhammadu Buhari stated this on Monday night in an interview with Arise TV monitored by The BreakingTimes.
Shehu said the president has the prerogative to appoint or sack any of the country’s service chiefs.
The presidential spokesman said that the president keeps the service chiefs as long as he is satisfied with their performance.
The horrific killing of at least 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari in the Jere Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno State last Saturday sparked fresh call by several Nigerians for the sacking of the country’s service chiefs.
Reacting to the call, Shehu said the the decision to sack or retain any of the service chiefs is entirely the president’s.
“I am not aware that the tenure of service chiefs is subjected to any law of regulation that is clearly stated. They serve at the pleasure of the president and (if) the president is satisfied with their performance, he keeps them. The buck stops at his table —with due respect to the feelings of Nigerians.
“The clamour for the sack is out of place considering that the president is not subject to the opinion of opposition political party which has clamoured for this all the time. It is entirely his own determination; he decides who he keeps as his service chiefs and for how long,” the presidential spokesman said.
The insurgents reportedly first tied up the farmers, who were working in rice fields, before slitting their throats.
Shehu had earlier said the rice farmers had no military clearance to be on the farms when the incident occurred.
However, many Nigerians on social media lambasted him for blaming the dead.
“My suggestion in the earlier news report is that the military had not certified those areas as being free of landmines and terrorists’ intrusions. Whether there are processes for getting licences or commissions, it is not for me, the military is in a better position to describe those processes,” Shehu added.