Orji Kalu, senate chief whip, says the new service chiefs need about six months to understand Nigeria’s security system.
In January, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the new service chiefs — Lucky Irabor, chief of defence staff; Ibrahim Attahiru, chief of army staff; Awwal Gambo, chief of naval staff, and Isiaka Amao, chief of air staff.
Their appointment came amid calls by Nigerians on the government to urgently address the security challenges.
Speaking when he featured on Channels Television on Sunday, Kalu said the appointment of the new service chiefs will not immediately translate into improved security in the country.
He made the comment while answering a question on what the national assembly was doing to address the setting up of security outfits by regions.
Despite the change of service chiefs, the security situation in the country has become much worse.
In just one week, over 80 people were killed and 60 kidnapped across the country.
“There is no day on earth that we sat in the national assembly without talking about insecurity,” Kalu said.
“We have been very concerned. We are making a very good effort to amend the constitution. We are working around the clock to see how everything that is amendable to be amended to set the country rolling.
“When people were shouting remove the service chiefs, it is not the issue of service chiefs and the new service chiefs you’re bringing now need between four, five to six months to be able to know the security system. It is not an immediate thing, it is not just removing one and bringing another that solves the problem.
“It is going to be strategic, it is going to be professionally and openly handled. You need equipment. You look at the neighbourhood for about five to six months to be able to rearrange the security architecture of Nigeria.
“Mind you, we are just lawmakers. We are not in the executive, our duty is to make the law for the executive to implement. The national assembly has never had unity like we are today.”
Speaking on the solution to the challenges, the lawmaker said there is a need to return to the local government system and strengthen it.
“The country has been at war with itself. Most of these insurgencies are coming because of the collapse of the local government system where a lot of young men and women used to go to work, where you have a lot of councillors. When I was governor, councillors used to give a lot of road repairs, grading of roads, covets repairs. There is a need to go back to that system,” he said.
“It is a pity that this is the first time that people of Nigeria will go to war with itself. The government has done everything right but we have not gotten security where it is supposed to be.”