NORTHERN Nigerian pressure group the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has rubbished calls that President Muhammadu Buhari should replaced the recently deceased chief of army staff Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru with a candidate from the southeast.
On Friday, Lt General Attahiru and 10 other military officers were going to Kaduna to attend the passing out parade of soldiers from the Nigerian Army Depot in Zaria when their plane crashed. In what appears to be a technical malfunction, the plane crashed killing all the 11 people on board, including its four-man air crew.
Already there have been calls for the Late General Attahiru to be replaced by an officer from the southeast geo-political Igbo-speaking zone because of the perception that this administration marginalises Igbos. However, the AYCF has rubbished such calls, with its national president Yerima Shettima dismissing such talk as nonsense.
Mr Shettima said President Buhari reserves the right to appoint a chief of army staff loyal and determined to work with him. He added that the new army chief should have the zeal and determination to end insecurity in Nigeria and be determined to bring lasting peace to the country.
He added: “Appointing a chief of army staff is at the discretion of the president, so people should stop this blackmail. It is solely the responsibility of the president to pick who is loyal and can give him what he wants.
“So, let’s do away with this sentiments and blackmail of people talking anyhow that the next chief of army staff should go to the southeast with this nonsense we are seeing in the region. We hope whoever replaces Attahiru should have that zeal, seriousness and determination to bring a lasting peace to this country.
“His replacement should be able to replace this criminality going on because some of us are of the view that there is no way anybody would have imagine that Nigerian armed forces known all over the world be overwhelmed by these criminals. There is a conspiracy theory around this but time will unveil it because this is a country ruled by constitution and the rule of law must be respected.
“We are not in a Banana Republic that things happen and people can get away with any question.”