• They should’ve resigned long ago – Experts
  • Buhari names replacements

service-chiefsFORTY-THREE days after he worked
with the security chiefs he inherited from
his predecessor (Goodluck Jonathan),
President Muhammadu Buhari,
yesterday fired them and immediately
named their replacements.
The development heightened fears of
mass retirement in the Nigerian Armed
Forces as the appointment of the new
Service Chiefs in the tradition of the
military, will lead to the immediate
disengagement of their superiors.
The service chiefs fired by Buhari
yesterday were the Chief of Defence
Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh; Chief of
Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah;
Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral
Usman Jibrin; Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice
Marshall Adesola Amosu and National
Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo
Dasuki (rtd).
The new appointees are Maj.-Gen.
Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin as Chief
of Defence Staff; Maj-Gen. T.Y. Buratai,
Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Ibok-
Ete Ekwe Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff; Air
Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, Chief of
Air Staff; Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku
Morgan, Chief of Defence Intelligence;
and Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd)
as NSA.
Their appointment was contained
in a statement issued by presidential
spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina.
Except the South-East region, the
other five zones in the country were
represented in the new appointments.
The North-East produces the NSA and
Chief of Army Staff.
Dasuki was in the State House shortly
before his removal was made public,
apparently to meet the President for the
last time in his official capacity.
Sources at the Defence Headquarters,
Abuja said that senior military officers,
who are disadvantaged by the present
changes, may have no option than
to bow out honourably because they
cannot afford to take instructions from
their once subordinates.
It is a traditional that in the military
hierarchy, once a junior officer is
appointed above his or her senior,
especially in a capacity to give orders,
the option for the senior officer is
The forced retirement, according to
sources at the defence headquarters, is
not the best of options, especially with
the current security challenge faced by
the country caused Boko Haram terror
The new Service Chiefs are also expected
to raise their teams, which may make the
continued stay of their superior officers
Monguno was a member of the Nigerian
Defence Academy’s 21st Regular Course.
Before his retirement from the Army,
he held several command and staff
appointments including: Commander,
Guards Brigade, Deputy Commandant,
National Defence College, Chief of Defence
Intelligence, Chief of Defence Logistics
and Commander, Training and Doctrine
Gen. Olonishakin, who was until
yesterday Head of the Nigerian Army
Training and Doctrine Command in
Minna, Niger State, hails from Ekiti State.
Until his appointment, Maj-Gen. Buratai
was Commander of the Multinational Joint
Task Force, which has its headquarters in
Ndjamena, Chad. Buratai hails from Borno
He had previously served as Commander
of the Nigerian Army’s 2nd Brigade in Port
Harcourt, Rivers State and Commander of
the Nigerian Army School of Infantry in
Jaji, Kaduna State.
The new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear
Admiral Ekwe-Ibas, is from Cross River
Ibas enlisted into the Nigerian Defence
Academy as a member of the 26th Regular
Course in 1979 and was commissioned as
a Sub-Lieutenant in 1983. His previous
appointments include: Naval Provost
Marshall, Chief Staff Officer, Naval Training
Command, Chief of Administration, Naval
Headquarters, Flag Officer Commanding
Western Naval Command and Chief of
Logistics, Naval Headquarters. Until his
appointment as Chief of Naval Staff, he
was the Chief Executive Officer of Navy
Holdings Limited.
Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who
was also made Chief of Air Staff, hails from
Bauchi State. He was Chief of Standards
and Evaluation, NAF Headquarters;
Chief of Defence Communications and
Air Officer Commanding, NAF Training
Command. Until his latest appointment
as Chief of Air Staff, he was the Chief of
Administration, NAF Headquarters.
Air Vice Marshal Morgan Monday Riku
was announced as new Chief of Defence
Morgan hails from Benue State. He
was commissioned into the Nigerian Air
Force as a Pilot Officer in June 1982. His
previous appointments include Air Officer
Commanding, NAF Logistics Command.
Adesina added that the new service
chiefs will hold their appointments in
acting capacities until confirmed by the
According to the statement, President
Buhari expressed gratitude to the outgoing
Service Chiefs and NSA for their services
to the country and wished them well in
their future endeavours.
Meanwhile, two senior retired military
officers, who are currently into security
consultancy services, told Nigerian Pilot
yesterday that the sacked service chiefs
ought to have left office on their own.
They argued that since their handling of
the Boko Haram menace had been far from
impressive, they should have toed the path
of honour, rather than allow the President
to flush them out.
The experts, who sought anonymity, said
that Buhari’s action was however belated
because he was expected to fire them at the
inception of his administration.
President Buhari however retained the
Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon
Arase, whom it was learnt won the
President’s heart following his (Arase’s)
anti-corruption crusade in the Police Force
and he would want him to drive it to a
logical conclusion.
The sack of Badeh, Minimah and others
did not come as a surprise as it was
expected that Buhari would select his own
security team.
Buhari had earlier in July sacked the
Director-General of the Department of
State Service, DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong,
with the Director of Communications in
the Office of the Head of Civil Service of
the Federation, Alhaji Haruna Imrana,
announcing the appointment of Lawal
Musa Daura as the Acting DG of the
Jonathan had on January 16, 2014
appointed Badeh, a former Chief of Air
Staff, as CDS to replace Admiral Ola
Ibrahim, and replaced Chief of Army
Staff; Lt.-Gen. Azubike O. Ihejirika with
Lt-Gen. Kenneth Tobiah Jacob Minimah,
while Rear Admiral Usman O. Jibrin
took over from Vice Admiral Dele Joseph
Ezeoba as Chief of Naval Staff; while Air
Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu
replaced Air Marshal Badeh as Chief of
Air Staff.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the
military chiefs were fired because of their
inability to curtail the Boko Haram sect,
which resumed hostilities on Nigeria
after Buhari took over government from
Jonathan on May 29.
There had been speculations the service
chiefs would be sacked earlier than
now but sources close to the President,
told Nigerian Pilot that he (Buhari)
decided to keep the military chiefs since
assumption of office for them to debrief
him on the security situation in North-
East, and that the last two meetings
with the service chiefs have given him
an idea as the commander-in-chief of
the armed forces to begin to make some
Sources also claimed that Buhari’s
action yesterday followed his
determination to end the terror war in
the country and consequently during
his inauguration on May 29, he ordered
the relocation of Defence Command
Centre to Maiduguri, Borno state, one
of the worst hit states by Boko Haram’s
six-year terror reign in northern Nigeria.
Minimah’s sack was announced when
he was addressing the Chief of Army
Staff’s second quarterly conference in
Abuja, where he noted that the Nigerian
Army is seeking effective ways of
responding to the threats being posed
by the Boko Haram.
He said the Army is adopting
modalities for proactive response to the
menace of suicide bombing, noting that
the Army would seek ways of working
in synergy with other security agencies
to tackle suicide bombing.
The ex-COAS stated, “I therefore
urge you to use the opportunity offered
by this conference to deliberate on
measures to enable the Nigerian Army
in synergy with sister services, security
agencies and paramilitary organisations
to adequately respond to this tactics of
the terrorists.”

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