President Muhammadu Buhari has fired the service chiefs, including the Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin and Chief of Air Staff, Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu.
The President also relieved the National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, (rtd) of his appointment.
The President later appointed new service chiefs and a new National Security Adviser to replace those sacked. They are: Major-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin – Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General 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 while Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd.) is the new National Security Adviser.
The new Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.-Gen. Olonishakin (N/6901) hails from Ekiti State. Until his appointment as Chief of Defence Staff today, he was the Head of the Nigerian Army Training and Doctrine Command in Minna, Niger State.
The new Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Buratai hails from Borno State. Until his new appointment today, he was the Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force which has its headquarters in Ndjamena. Maj-Gen. Buratai has previously served as Commander of the Nigerian Army’s 2nd Brigade in Port Harcourt and Commander of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry in Jaji, Kaduna State.
The new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibas (NN/0746) hails from Cross River State. He 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 Marshal, 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.
The new Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar (NAF/1433) hails from Bauchi State. His previous appointments include: Chief of Standards and Evaluation, NAF Headquarters; Chief of Defence Communications and Air Officer Commanding, NAF Training Command. Until his new appointment today as Chief of Air Staff, he was the Chief of Administration, NAF Headquarters. The new Service Chiefs will hold their appointments in an acting capacity until confirmed by the Senate.
Sources in the Presidency said that the President had on Monday morning placed calls to all the military chiefs informing them of their removal and thanked them for their services to the nation. The sacking of the service chief is was widely believed to be part of the plan by the President to reposition the military to effectively crack down on members of Boko Haram, the Islamist fundamentalist sect which has been terrorising the North East which he regards his top priority. The group has intensified its attacks in the last one month, with multiple suicide bombings which had claimed the lives of hundreds of people.
President Buhari expressed his resolve to tackle Boko Haram militants at his inauguration in May. The sacking of the service chiefs did not come as a surprise to Nigerians as the president has repeatedly criticised the military’s inability to defeat Islamist militants Boko Haram.
The newly appointed military chiefs would work closely with neighbours from Chad, Cameroon and Niger as the countries join forces to tackle Boko Haram.