Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday announced the replacement of Nigeria’s service chiefs.In the statement announcing their replacement, Femi Adesina said Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.
“PMB appoints new Service Chiefs. Maj Gen LEO Irabor, CDS, Maj Gen I Attahiru, Army, Rear Adm AZ Gambo, Navy, AVM IO Alao, Air Force. He congratulates outgoing Service Chiefs on efforts to bring enduring peace to the country,” Adesina tweeted.
Irabor replaces Defense Chief Abayomi Olonisakin, while Army Chief Tukur Buratai is succeeded by Attahiru.
Gambo would now head the Navy, replacing Navy Chief Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas while Alao takes over from Air Chief Sadique Abubakar.
The replaced service chiefs were appointed by Buhari in 2015 after he was elected to his first presidential term but there has been a widespread clamour for their sack as Nigeria continued to wallow in security challenges.
In 2020, the Nigerian House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on all of the military service chiefs to resign. If they do not, the resolution called on Buhari to fire them. Earlier, the Senate had also expressed the view that the service chiefs had to go. The House motion appears to be more formal than the Senate’s action.
Buhari said the outgoing service chiefs had an “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.” A position many critics would disapprove.
The breakdown of security is nationwide, and it is becoming a major political issue. In 2020, the six southwest states governors moved to establish a security force to supplement and assist the national police force in the face of a kidnapping epidemic. According to a Guardian report, twenty-three states across the country have stood up local security organizations, ranging from neighborhood watches to armed police.
Prof.Isaac Albert, Director, Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the removal of Service Chiefs.
Albert said this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
The expert said that Buhari had responded to the yearnings of Nigerians by the removal of the service chiefs.
Albert, however, said the removal of the service chiefs only would not solve the security challenges facing the country.
He urged the president to move to the next stage by addressing other challenges such as inadequate equipment and military personnel.
Albert also called on the military to improve their relationship with the community they operate.
He said that the war against terrorism and banditry cannot be won without winning the minds of the people in communities the military operates.
Also speaking a human rights lawyer, Mr Oladimeji Adebayo, said that the security situation in Nigeria would improve with the appointment of the new service chiefs.
Adebayo said the new service chiefs would bring new ideas that would improve the security situation in the country and would want to make an impact.
“I think they are going to do their best and justify the confidence imposed on them by Nigerians.
“We expect to improve the security situation in the country now,” he said.
The new services chiefs appointed by the president are Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.Gen. Leo Irabor, Chief of Army Staff, Maj.Gen. I Attahiru, Rear Admiral A. Z. Gamboa, Chief of Naval Staff and Air- Vice Marshal I. O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
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