Odinkalu blames Buhari for traveling to Liberia after attack on Presidential Guard Brigade

A FORMER Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria (NHRC), Chidi Odinkalu, has criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for traveling out of the country shortly after soldiers from the Presidential Guard Brigade were attacked and killed by terrorists.

The human rights lawyer, who spoke about the security situation in Nigeria on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily program on Wednesday, described Buhari as a “lazy and indifferent commander-in-chief”.

Odinkalu disapproved of Buhari’s trip to Liberia after the attack on the presidential guard brigade by terrorists in Abuja.

He said it was more frustrating that the president was traveling to Liberia to talk about security while leaving an insecure country behind.

“If you’re talking about the police, the army, the navy, the SSS, the NIA, the directorate of military intelligence, the national security adviser, everyone reports through one channel to one nobody.

“The president is not just a commander-in-chief, he is the operational head of all these agencies, they report to him.

“A president who is present will limit this (security) damage. The tragedy of our current crisis is that President Buhari is neither present nor able to provide leadership, even worse, he does not care.

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“You cannot let the Presidential Guard Brigade personnel be killed in Abuja and the President travel to Liberia to give a security lecture. Are you serious?

“A president’s job is a lot of jobs in one. The president is the leader of the party; the president is the head of government; the president in the current administration is the oil minister. The president is a diplomat as well as a commander-in-chief.

“President as party leader, someone else can do this job. President as head of government, someone else can do this job. President as a diplomat, he can deploy the Minister of Foreign Affairs or others to do so.

“There is only one element of the President’s job that can never be delegated while the President is earthly and that is the Commander-in-Chief.

“And when the Commander-in-Chief is as lazy, as carefree as present-day Nigeria, 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 indifferent Commander-in-Chief.”

Odinkalu pointed out that “the transactionalization of insecurity in Nigeria is the reason why it is difficult to fix security.”

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He also lamented that Nigerian politicians do not read security reports, citing Tuesday’s revelation that 44 security reports had been made available 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 urgently done to address worsening insecurity.


Nurudeen Akewusola is an investigative journalist and fact checker at ICIR. He believes that in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice and good governance. You can email him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.

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