200 CSOs reject Abaribe's armed forces commission bill
Abaribe had proposed a bill to, among other things, prevent the lopsided appointment of heads of security agencies by the president.
Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, had proposed a bill to, among other things, prevent the lopsided appointment of heads of security agencies by the president.
At a town hall meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, some civil society organisations described the proposed bill as a plot to usurp the powers of the president, who doubles as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to appoint and sack security chiefs.
Ogenyi Okpokwu, who led the groups on the platform of Parliament Watch, said the proposed legislation is an "invitation to anarchy".
In a communique signed by Danelsi Momoh, Kabir Dallah and two others, the CSOs urged the National Assembly to focus on passing bills that would promote the interest of the nations.
"One bill that attracted the attention of the members in attendance is the Armed Forces Service Commission (Est.) Bill 2020 (SB 362)," the communiqué said.
"According to the bill, the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Director of Military Intelligence and heads of other arm-bearing security agencies shall be appointed subject to recommendations by the Senate.
"The bill is advocating that the Armed Forces Service Commission shall have the power to approve the promotion of officers as heads of military formations/branches such as General Officers Commanding Divisions of the Nigerian Army and their equivalents in the Navy and Air Force, amongst a host of others.
"Members of the Parliamentary Watch unanimously agreed that the proposed Armed Forces Service Commission bill is retrogressive and an attempt to undermine the powers of the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as stipulated in Chapter Six, Section 2 (1) (2).
"That bill is an affront to the office of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria."
The CSOs said the Armed Forces Services Commission bill "lacks merit in conceptualisation" and should be rejected by lawmakers.
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