Gbajabiamila threatens to report service chiefs to Buhari as they shun meeting with lawmakers - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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Gbajabiamila threatens to report service chiefs to Buhari as they shun meeting with lawmakers

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A scheduled meeting between the leadership of the House of Representatives and the service chiefs was on Friday aborted by the absence of the latter.

The service chiefs, namely the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ekwe and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar, were conspicuously absent at the meeting with the principal officers of the House yesterday.

The Service Chiefs, however, sent representatives to the meeting.

The Chief of Defense Staff was represented by Major General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defense Training and Operations, Army Headquarters. He was accompanied by the Chief of Account and Budget, Army, Major General Kola Bakare.

Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun (Chief of Policy and Plans, Army) represented the Chief of Army Staff, while the Chief of Naval Staff was represented by Rear Admiral Tariworio Dick (Chief of Training and Operations) and the Chief of Air Staff was represented by Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao (Chief of Training and Operations).

However, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; the Director-General of the Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi, and the Comptroller of Nigeria Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandede, were present.

The House had on Thursday stepped down a motion by Hon. Ifeanyi Momah titled: “Review of the Military strategy of “ Super Camps” in the fight against Boko Haram in the North East Zone.”

The House felt that because it was a security issue, the leadership would have better insight at the meeting with the security Chiefs on Thursday.

The absence of the service chiefs really upset the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who expressed his disappointment at the development.

He said: “Let me commend President Muhammadu Buhari for the commitment he has shown to stem the tide and to put a handle and lead on the security situation in Nigeria today.

“Unfortunately, Mr President cannot work alone. He has to have people to delegate those powers to as the Commander in Chief as directed by our constitution.

“But because Mr President has delegated those powers to the Service Chiefs, we decided to call this meeting as representatives of the people.

“This meeting was not called by a committee of the house; it was called by the highest level of the legislature, personally by me as the speaker of the house.

“Let me commend the IGP, DG DSS and Nigerian Immigration for coming here.

“Let me say that as a House and institution, I cannot understate my disappointment or our disappointment for the service chiefs that are not here.

“We called this meeting because we wanted to hear from the Service Chiefs, to know what is going on, to know how the house can help. What are the problems? What are the challenges to talk about strategy and what we need to do?

“I am sure you do not expect the house to fold its arms over what is going on in Maiduguri and other parts.

“There is a migration now from Local Government to Maiduguri but here we are. We call the Armed Forces coordinated by Chief of Defence Staff who is not here, Service Chiefs being represented by their accountants.

“I am actually at a loss. For me, I believe are in tandem with this, the absence of the Service Chiefs, the Navy is not represented as far as I am concerned, Air Force is not represented, ditto the Chief of Army Staff.

“I know one or two of these Service Chiefs who were somewhere yesterday night, I can almost say that it showed the disdain for this institution.”

He further said: “The budget is on its way. We need to talk about it. What do you need? What is required? I am almost embarrassed, to tell the truth.

“There was no call placed to my office to explain why. I am just seeing accountants and representatives.

“I am not sure how to handle this. I do not think this happens anywhere, any parliament in the world, where the head of parliament will call the Service Chiefs for a nagging problem on how to resolve it and they will not show up.

“I think it is important to postpone this meeting to Monday morning. I will personally see the President myself, because we are supposed to work as one, to work together as a body.”
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