The Executive Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, has spoken out in defence of President Goodluck Jonathan in the face of rising security challenges, saying rather than call for the president’s head, Nigerians should be calling on those at the helm of affairs in national security, including the Inspector-General of Police, MD Abubakar and the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alexander Badeh, to resign.
A cross-section of Nigerians had suggested that the recent wave of Boko Haram attacks was an indication that the president had lost grip of the situation and should resign.
A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Fred Agbaje had categorically stated that Jonathan’s resignation would solve the country’s security challenges.
But Mumuni, in a telephone interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, said, “The head of security agencies should have resigned. The Inspector-General of Police, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Air Staff, and all those connected with security in Nigeria should have resigned long ago.
“We (shouldn’t) ask the President to resign. It was not a deliberate act of President Jonathan that the girls got missing”.
The SERAP director likened the current situation to that of South Korea, where the Prime Minister resigned over government’s handling of a ferry disaster.
He said, “The real holder of power in South Korea is the President. But she didn’t resign; it was the Prime Minster, who should coordinate rescue operations that admitted that their (government) intervention was shoddy and late. And that was the basis for the resignation.
“If for every little thing, the holder of executive presidential power must resign, then there would be no stability in government. But he has a right to sanction whoever he has placed in a position to deal with a particular issue, if that issue is not being dealt with”.
Mumuni also faulted the Federal Government’s handling of the situation, describing it as unorganized and shoddy. He also described the government as lacking in capacity and political will to rescue the over 200 school girls abducted by the sect last month.
“The government’s handling of the situation has been a nonstarter from day one. It has been unorganised and shoddy. That was why about two weeks ago (one week from the abduction), I called for the intervention of the international community.
“That is what everybody is back to now. There has been no political will or capacity on the part of the government. That is the reason why the search for the girls has now become an international issue. The United Nations and the powerful countries of the world are now saying they want to help”, he said.