The call by the Senate on Tuesday to fire the Service chiefs was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The lawmakers called for the military top brass’ sack over “recent killings of soldiers (in the frontline of the insurgency battle) and mass resignation from the military”
But the Presidency said the appointment or sack of Service chiefs is a “Presidential prerogative.”
Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of Naval Staff Vice Adimral Ibok Ekwe Ibas and Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, were appointed on July 13, 2015.
A reversal of gains in the battle against insurgency in the Northeast and lately banditry in the Northwest, has led to a strident call for their sack by concerned Nigerians.
Also on Tuesday, the National Assembly took positions against continuation of the process in recruiting 774,000 youths for public works as announced by Minister of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo.
The minister of state said last week that President Buhari authorised him to continue with the process.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, noted that decisions relating to the appointment or sack of Service chiefs were strictly President Buhari’s prerogative.
In a statement, Adesina said the President, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed Forces, and who appointed the current crop of Service chiefs, would always take steps in the best interest of Nigeria.
He said: “The Senate on Tuesday adopted a resolution calling on the Service chiefs to resign or be sacked due to the multi-pronged security challenges in the country.
“The Presidency notes the resolution, and reiterates that appointment or sack of Service chiefs is a Presidential prerogative, and President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, will do what is in the best interest of the country at all times”.
The Senate also resolved that the top hierarchy of the military should brief its relevant committees on the factors militating against their operations to find a way forward.
The Senate observed a minute’s silence in honour of soldiers and members of other security agencies that have died during their fight against insurgency.
The resolutions of the Senate followed the consideration of a motion titled: “Rising casualties among Nigerian soldiers and other security agencies” moved by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC Borno South).
Ndume, in his lead debate, lamented that 24 soldiers were recently killed in an ambush by insurgents on Damboa-Maiduguri road in Borno state.
He said 19 soldiers were injured while nine others were declared missing in action.
He said 20 soldiers were killed during a similar ambush in Katsina with many others injured.
He said while the Senate appreciates the sacrifices being made by members of the armed forces in the fight against insurgency, it is however concerned about the serious implications of the killings in the war against insurgency and banditry.
He lamented the reported recent mass resignation of over 200 soldiers fighting in the frontlines.
He urged the Senate to accordingly resolve to observe a minute’s silence in honour of the fallen heroes;
He further called on the Senate to urge the Federal Government to make urgent provisions of modern equipment to enhance the operational capabilities of the armed forces.