A former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), yesterday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, for failing to contain the Boko Haram insurgency.
The legal expert believes that the Nigerian military with Badeh at the helm of affairs, has failed to contain the Boko Haram insurgency
“If I was the Commander-in-Chief, the Chief of Defence Staff should be dismissed”, he said.
Speaking at a news conference in his Lagos office on Wednesday, Agbakoba said insurgency would not end until Boko Haram’s leadership was neutralised.
The SAN said Badeh, who was appointed in January this year, had lost control of the army, citing the case of about 480 Nigerian soldiers, who crossed over the Cameroon border during a confrontation with the Boko Haram insurgents as a confirmation of his position. The Defence Headquarters, however, defended the troops saying their retreat to Cameroon was a tactical maneuver.
Mr. Agbakoba argued that Boko Haram had emulated Iraqi terror group, ISIS, by declaring an Islamic caliphate in the North-East just like ISIS did in Iraq and Syria.
He said, “I think our first task is to look around the world and ask whether our Nigerian intelligence and military infrastructure are doing just what it ought to do. If I were the Commander-in-Chief, I would be inviting the Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh; if you lose command in the army, it’s over. If the president fails to send a strong message that the mission is not accomplished, then the chain of command would be weak.
“In the army, it is obedience to superior orders. How can you have Nigerian soldiers carrying our equipment into Cameroon and running away? It tells you that the Army is degraded. The only way that you can solve the Boko Haram problem is by a resolute decapitation of the leadership. There is no other way.
“We have to realise that Boko Haram is copying the tactics of ISIS. ISIS declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, they declared it here and we are all sitting down licking ice cream. This is the challenge facing Nigeria and the only way is for the president to send the strongest message that enough is enough. And the first thing is to say that the Military High command has failed in its duty and should be relieved of its functions immediately.
“I mean, if you don’t do well in football as you all know, you are put on the bench. I hate nothing about Alex Badeh being a nice man but the point is, if the mission has not been accomplished, there has to be a consequence. If there is no consequence, then nothing will change. There has to be consequence of failure. Boko Haram is serious, we have failed, we need to try new a tactic and the new tactic is to completely degrade them”.