President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked his service chiefs and appointed new service chiefs to head the various security arms in the country.
This latest development confirms an earlier report exclusively published by The Street Journal at the tail-end of 2020, about Buhari replacing his Service Chiefs, as well as some Ministers, in the first quarter of 2021.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity To President, Femi Adesina, announcing the sack readss, “President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.
“Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
“President Buhari thanks the outgoing Service Chiefs for what he calls their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country,” wishing them well in their future endeavours.
“The new Service Chiefs are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
“The President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.”
This development comes just as northern elders, civil society organizations, the national assembly and well meaning Nigerians mounted pressure on Buhari to relieve the military bosses of their positions as insecurity heightened across the country.
“We found President Muhammad Buhari’s inaction over the sack of the service chiefs and other recommendations on security very disturbing and abnormal hence, we passionately appealed to him to rethink and save the country from further loss of lives and property,” Nigerian elders under the aegis of Conference of Concerned Nigeria Elders, had said in a statement at the beginning of the year.
Similarly, at the Armed Forces Remembrance Day on Jan. 15, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State called for the sack of Service Chief, saying:
“A country is as strong as its Armed Forces. Her inability to defeat the Boko Haram insurgency in spite of years of full military engagement shows that all is not well with our approaches and commitments to the battle against the internal insecurity.
“Today, therefore, also raises the need for all of us to be worried by the deteriorating security situation across the country and restate the call on the Federal Government to do everything necessary to bring the security threat by Boko Haram and armed bandits to a decisive end in the shortest possible time.
“We thank the Service Chiefs for their efforts so far in the battle against the insurgents. But we also align with the concern of citizens that having seemingly reached their wit end, they should now give way for fresh hands and ideas to give the fight the impetus that it so strongly needs to ensure that Boko Haram and killer bandits are comprehensively defeated and smoked out of existence.