The Senator representing Kano central, Ibrahim Shekarau, believes Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari is breaking the law by keeping the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai as well as other service chiefs beyond their years of service.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Thursday, Shekarau said the service chiefs ought to go when they are 60 years of age or when they complete 35 years of service.
The former governor of Kano state said the service chiefs are public servants and should be treated like their counterparts in the service.
“He (Buhari) is breaking the law. The law says if you are 60 you must go, it is so automatic. If you are 35 years of service, you must go. In fact, they are not staff of the president, they are staff of the federal republic of Nigeria and there is a rule, it is just like in the civil service. If you are an ordinary civil servant and you hit 60 years, automatically you must go”, he said.
“The president hasn’t the right to extend beyond what the law says, that is the rule of law.
“The issue of this sacking of the service chief; it has been on for almost two to three years now. There is one point I think the presidency is missing and the public has not been brought on to it.
“Before you get to the point of whether they are performing or not performing, there is a question of rule of law. The military is one of several public services. It is governed by laws, by scheme of service as we call it. In the scheme of service as it is all over in public service including the military, there are conditions on when to leave automatically. You either attain the age of 60 or put into service for 35 years. Whichever comes first, you are supposed to retire all of them. None of them have less than 35. I think the chief of defence staff has put in 39 years of service. All of them except the chief of defence staff who is 58 now, all of them are more than 60 and the chief of air staff has put in about 37 years, chief of naval staff has put in about 41 years.
“What we are saying is that even if Mr president has found them indispensable; allow them to retire just like any public service as the rule specify and you can hire them as minister of defence, adviser on defence, national security adviser (NSA) or whatever.
“You see, there is a difference between you are still within the service period and the president can keep you as long as he so wishes. If you are 50 and have put in 25 years of service which means you have 10 more years to go. If you are chief of army staff, for the next 10 years the president is at his own pleasure to keep you. But automatically if you hit 60 years, you must go. If you hit 35 years of service, you must go. This is within the scheme of service. So as far as I am concerned, there is rule of law, we should respect the law before you even talk of whether they are performing or not.”