AS consultations continue on all political fronts for appointment of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief of Staff (COS) and others, President Muhammadu Buhari will fly out today to meet his Nigerien and Chadian counterparts.Service Chiefs had yesterday briefed him on the security situation in the country.
The President yesterday, also submitted a list of 15 advisers to the Senate, the upper chamber of the Federal legislature, which is due to be dissolved next week when the new National Assembly (NASS) will be inaugurated.The new NASS may not be proclaimed on Friday as expected.
The President’s visit to Niger and Chad is to sustain the co-operation and agreement Nigeria had initiated with her neighbours during former President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Among the Service Chiefs present at the meeting coordinated by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd) were the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, and Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase..
Emerging from the meeting which lasted for more than three hours, the Naval chief told reporters they used the opportunity to give the President comprehensive details of the security situation in the country and the level of successes so far recorded by the armed forces in their battle against the insurgents.
“Since he was inaugurated as the President of Nigeria and our Commander-in-chief, this is the first time that we have formally met to give him a general security briefing of the country.”
The CNS confirmed that the Armed Forces was putting structures in place to comply with the President’s directive at his inauguration that the command structure be relocated to Maiduguri, saying: “We are the ones to go back and work on it. Soon it will be carried out, it is a Presidential directive.
“On the Boko Haram issue, we told him of the level of successes being recorded and we want to maintain the tempo until the insurgents are routed.
“We are sustaining the tempo and the successes we have recorded so far, we want to continue to maintain that and if there is any suggested solutions that require amendments or alteration of what we’re doing, why not?
“All Nigerians should continue to support the military and provide us with necessary intelligence which should be reported to the police and the police will make it available to us.
15 Presidential Advisers .
In a letter dated June 2, 2015 and addressed to the Senate President, David Mark, the President said: “Pursuant to the provision of Section 151 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which confers on me, the power to appoint Special Advisers to assist me in the performance of my functions, I write to request for the kind consideration and approval of the Distinguished Members of the Senate of the Federal Republic to appoint 15 Special Advisers as prescribed in Section 151 (2-3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
In a related development, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State has written to Buhari to allow him nominate a competent candidate to fill the state’s ministerial slot.
Fayose’s letter dated May 31, 2015, said that if his request is granted by the President, he would nominate a worthy and competent Ekiti professional for appointment in the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“Should the request be favourably disposed to, I shall be happy to nominate a worthy and competent professional who can always oblige your Excellency and your cabinet the benefit of a second opinion in the serious business of governance.”
He noted that he wrote the letter based on the declaration made by the President that he would put the overall interest of the country above every other particularly political partisanship and biases.
The governor also hinted that his letter was on the strength of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Section 147 sub (2) and (3) which therefore state as follows: (2) Any appointment to the office of the Minister of the government of the Federation shall if the nomination of any such person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President.
(3) Any appointment under sub- section (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provision of Section 15 (3) of this constitution provided that in giving effect to the provision aforesaid, the President shall appoint at least one minister from each state who shall be indigene of such state.
Fayose who stressed that Ekiti is a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dominated state, added that in the spirit of an all inclusive government with capacity for national integration the President should accord him the honour and privilege to name the minister from Ekiti State.
He explained that his request was not new, saying that the late Chief Bola Ige who was the leader of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Abdukadri were appointed minister and special adviser respectively by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007.