The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has stated that the 1999 Constitution, as amended, makes only President Muhammadu Buhari the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and not the State Governors,
The Rivers State Governor charged the President to take responsibility for the nation’s security.
Governor Wike spoke at the inauguration of the 21km Odufor-Umuoye Road, in Etche Local Government Area, on Tuesday.
He stated that while the Governors have a critical role to play as the Chief Security Officers, CSOs, in their respective States, the President swore to an oath to protect the people of Nigeria.
Governor Wike made the remarks in reaction to the comments by President Buhari, last week Thursday, in an exclusive interview with ARISE TV, where he asked the Governors to focus on securing their States and its people, rather than running to him at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, in Abuja, every time for help.
Governor Wike’s words: “Did you take the Oath of Office with anybody? You took the Oath of Office to protect lives and property.
“Let me also tell Mr. President, he has said that security issues are left to the states; haba nau, President no be so (that is not true).
“The Constitution did not say that. Who is the Commander-in-Chief? I am not the Commander-in-Chief; Mr. President, you are the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”
According to him, only the President has the power to appoint the Heads of various Security Agencies, such as the Police, Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of State Security Services, DSS, among others.
He decried that the situation has become so bad that the Governors cannot give directives to the Commissioners of Police in their States, without the approval of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, who is appointed by the President.
He noted: “Allow us to pick who will be in charge; then you will see whether it will be the same thing, because they (the Security Chiefs) cannot act until they take powers from you; we cannot tell them what to do.
“So, why are we shifting the goalpost when the match is almost completed? It is not good. It is not only to borrow money that one person will be in charge, you (Buhari) must also be in charge of all other things.
“Mr. President should have come out openly and said ‘my APC Governors, stop worrying me and go back to your States and do your work’. I, as the Governor of River State under PDP; he will never find my leg (at the Villa); I will not go there.”