Professor Chidi Odinkalu, a former Chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a “lazy and uncaring Commander-in-Chief”.
The human rights lawyer disclosed this while speaking on the state of insecurity in Nigeria on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Wednesday.
He berated President Buhari for jetting out of the country a few hours after operatives of the Guard Brigade were ambushed and gunned down by terrorists in Abuja.
Odinkalu said it was more frustrating that the president travelled to Liberia to speak on security while leaving an unsecure country behind.
He countered the argument that the state governors should also be blamed for the security challenges currently being faced by the country, insisting that: “Security can not be outsourced to the state, all the security services have only one operational chief and that is the president.
“If you are talking about the police, the army, the navy, the SSS, the NIA, the Directorate of Military Intelligence, National Security Adviser, everyone reports through one channel to one person.
“The president is not just a commander-in-chief, he is the operational head of all of these agencies, they report to him.
“A president who is present will contain that [security] damage. The tragedy of our current crisis is that President Buhari is neither present nor capable of providing leadership, even worst, he does not care.
“You can’t have personnel of Presidential Guards Brigade being killed in Abuja and the president travelling off to Liberia to deliver a lecture on security. Are you serious?
“The job of a president is a lot of jobs in one. The president is the party leader, the president is the head of government, the president in the current administration, the petroleum minister. The president is a diplomat as well as a Commander-in-Chief.
“President as a party leader, somebody else can do that job. President as the head of government, somebody else can do that job. President as a diplomat, he can deploy the foreign minister or some other people to do that.
“There is only one element of the job of the president that can never be delegated as long as the president is terrestrial and that is the Commander-in-Chief.
“And when the Commander-in-Chief is as lazy, as uncaring as the current one that Nigeria has, the country is exactly where it deserves to be.
“A country can only have one Commander-in-Chief at a time and at the moment, Nigeria has a lazy Commander-in-Chief and an uncaring Commander-in-Chief.”
Odinkalu also decried the lack of relationship between leaders, intelligence and operations, stressing that “transactionalization of insecurity in Nigeria is the reason it’s hard to fix security.”
He also lamented that Nigerian politicians don’t read security reports while referring to the revelation on Tuesday that 44 security reports were handed to the government before the Kuje prison attack.
The lawyer also warned that elections may not take place in many parts of Nigeria in 2023 unless something is done urgently to tackle the rising insecurity.