A cross-section of Nigerians on Tuesday has demanded the probe and trial of the former Chief of Defence Chief, General Abayomi Olonisakin; former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai; former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas; and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, for alleged abuse of office.
Nigerians particularly said the army chief, Buratai, and his colleagues must appear before the International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands, to answer of several massacres in the country under his watch with the most recent being October 2020 Lekki soldiers’ shooting where a disputable number of civilian protesters were killed and injured.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday appointed new service chiefs, finally letting go of the four military chiefs.
Although Buhari said on Tuesday that he accepted their resignation letters, the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, already clarified in the past that the military chiefs could not resign and had to be laid off by the Commander-In-Chief.
Buhari had on July 13, 2015, appointed Olonisakin, Buratai, Ibas, and Abubakar.
In a State House Press Release on Tuesday, Buhari’s Special Adviser, Femi Adesina, said the new service chiefs were; Major-General Leo Irabor as the CDS, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru as the army chief, Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo as the naval chief and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao as the new air chief.
Nigerians on Twitter noted that it was not enough that Buratai and other military chiefs were replaced, they must appear before the ICC, Hague to answer for criminal charges against them while in office.
Somto Onuchukwu (@chosensomto) said, “Goodbye Buratai, the evil you have done is enough. You can’t retire well, I hope @IntlCrimCourt convicts you for #ZariaMassacre #LekkiMassacre #OrluMassacre #oyigboMassacre #AbujaMassacre
Ayemojubar (@ayemojubar) tweeted, “Dear @IntlCrimCourt, Buratai is now available.
“Dear Buratai, the game is not yet over, and don't think your ‘retirement’ will pardon you from the evil you did as the Chief of Army Staff.”
Jackson Ude (@jacksonpbn) said, “Finally, General Buratai and his gang of criminals have been sacked. The General turned snake farmer would now know how it feels without the guns. Ndi ara!”
Fakhrriyyah (@FakhuusHashim) said: “I hope Buratai stands trial for the many atrocities he’s responsible for. From Zaria to Lekki. To the stark deprivation of resources at the frontlines in the NE.”
As more reactions pour in from Nigerians, it will be recalled that the Boko Haram terrorists as well as roaming bandits had intensified their fatal attacks since January 2020 across the country, with the military seeming helpless to curtail the attacks.
The terrorists have been abducting schoolchildren, aid workers and residents – some of whom are still in captivity.
Hundreds of soldiers have also died in the Boko Haram insurgency war due to alleged ineptitude of the military chiefs.
On January 21, 2020, eight soldiers were reportedly killed during a battle with the Boko Haram insurgents in Kaga, Borno.
The insurgents had disguised and moved in a police vehicle towards a military base, before opening fire on unsuspecting soldiers near their trench. This is just one of several other heavy casualties the Nigerian military have suffered in the hands of the insurgents.