…Urges the military not to get carried away by recent successes against B/Haram
By Dirisu Yakubu
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Jackson Lekan Ojo has questioned the rationale for the appointment of Professor Ibrahim Gambari as new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr. Ojo who spoke with our correspondent from his Port Harcourt base said while Gambari’s academic and professional accomplishment was not in doubt; Buhari, he added, should have settled for a younger person, considering the “enormous responsibility vested in the office.”
The APC chieftain also maintained that the President could have empowered Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to take up the role of his Chief of Staff if only to cut down on the cost of governance following the ravaging impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.
He said: “There is no doubt that Professor Gambari is an accomplished academic and top-notch diplomat but I am not comfortable with his appointment. First, how old is Gambari and how long are we going to keep recycling men who have been in the system for far too long?
“We are talking here of a man who served the then General Muhammad Buhari in 1984 as Minister of External Affairs. My take on this is that the President should have looked for a man or woman with the required energy to fill the vacuum created by the exit of Mallam Abba Kyari.
“Alternatively, Buhari should have simply asked Osinbajo to oversee the Office of the Chief of Staff. Since the Office is not Constitutional, this would have been a great choice. Osinbajo knows the Presidency and the trappings of its power. He has been there since 2015, so why bring someone even older than the last occupant which many Nigerians even faulted on the account of his age?
He also lauded the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai and Nigerian troops fighting insurgency in the North-East even as he warned against complacency.
According to him, an audio message purportedly by Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau released last week, in which the latter sought protection from God following the increasing bombardment of their hideouts by men of Operation Lafia Dole, could be a ploy to get the troops distracted.
Ojo who is also a security expert urged Buratai and his men to continue to prosecute the war offensively saying, “it is true that the troops are now fighting offensively rather than defensively and as a result, Shekau and his men, are no longer comfortable.
“But the soldiers should not be emotional or have empathy for Shekau’s tears. It could be a plot to distract them and strike when they least expect.”