by Dare Lawal
On Wednesday in Lagos, the former President of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, called a press conference in Lagos in which he asked President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshall Alex Badeh. Agbakoba said that Badeh has been unable to stop the rampaging Boko Haram terrorists and so should go.
“If you lose your command or vision in the army, it is only one result, dismissal. If the president fails to send a strong message that the mission is not accomplished, then the chain of command is relieved.
“In the army the biggest discipline is the obedience of superior order. How can you have Nigerian soldiers, carrying our equipment into Cameroon and running away? It shows that the army is degraded. The only way that you can solve the Boko Haram problem is by drastic decapitation of the leadership, because, if you do not, Boko Haram will put a knife in your back and they will not spare you.”
He stated that the first task is to look around the world and “ask whether what we see being executed by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Yemen and Iraq are similar to what is happening in Nigeria and whether our intelligent and military infrastructures are doing what they ought to do.”
“We have to realise that Boko Haram is copying the tactic of ISIS. ISIS declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and Boko Haram declared it here and we are not doing anything, but eating ice cream. It is the most serious challenge facing Nigeria and the only way out is for the President to send the strongest message that enough is enough. First is to say that the military high command has failed in its duty and therefore should be relieved of his office immediately.
“I take nothing from Alexander [Badeh] being a nice man, but the truth is, if the mission has not been accomplished, there has to be consequences and if there is no consequence, then nothing will change. There has to be a consequence of failure. Boko Haram is serious. There has to be a new tactic and for the new tactic to be effective, you have to first of all degrade them.
“The Americans have come with all their intelligence and given us the position where Boko Haram are, so what are we waiting for?”
Apart from insecurity, Agbakoba also spoke on a few other issues.
On the just concluded national conference, he said although the outcome was very good, he is skeptical that it would remain that way if taken to the national assembly.
“I expected that the president of the country would subject the outcome of the conference to a referendum so that the people of Nigeria will decide what they want from the document,” he said.
Agbakoba said that even though he was not advocating for the break up of the nation, there is nothing sacrosanct about the existence of Nigeria as an indivisible entity. He said, “Nigeria has a lot of resources but we do not need to stay together as an entity by force and the recent moves in the Scottish enclave of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Catalans agitation in Spain must serve as an eye opener for us.”
On the 2015 elections, he said with the present situation, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and President Goodluck Jonathan may not have a strong opposition in the 2015 presidential election as All Progressives Congress (APC) lost focus by concentrating on getting power instead of thinking of winning the people over to its side.