Nigeria appoints new army chiefs over rising insecurity
London, Jan. 26, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has fired the heads of the country’s armed forces-army chiefs whom he appointed when he first took office in 2015.
In a surprise move, he also tweeted the names of their replacements.
I have accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service. I thank them all for their overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to Nigeria, and wish them well in their future endeavours.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) January 26, 2021
I have also appointed new Service Chiefs, to replace the retired officers:— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) January 26, 2021
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
Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
No reason was given for the resignations of the army, navy, air force and chiefs of defence staff heads.
Army chiefs 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.
The new army 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.
It comes as Nigeria continues to grapple with widespread insecurity including the long-running Boko Haram insurgency and rampant kidnappings.
There have been calls, notably from the country’s powerful governors and the National Assembly, for the president to replace the service chiefs as many felt they were underperforming.
After the release of the kidnapped 344 Kankara schoolboys, Buhari promised to do something in the New Year about Nigeria’s security.
He made the promise in an interview with NTA.
Buhari said: “I am extremely worried about insecurity and I hope next year will be different.
“Those among the law enforcement agencies that will remain in charge will be extremely busy,” Buhari said.
“We have a lot of work ahead. We have a lot of work to do,” the President noted, adding that he would not say more, so as not to compromise security.
In his New Year broadcast, he came close to disclosing his plans, when he promised to “re-organise and re-energise”, the security, in line with his promise on 18 December