Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral O.S. Ibrahim
By Vincent Obia
In a major fallout of last Sunday’s twin-car bomb attack on Saint Andrew's Military Protestant Church located at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, the Commandant of the college, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Kure, has been relieved of of his position.
Also dropped is the Commander, Nigerian Army Corps of Infantry, also in Jaji, Major General Mohammed Isa.
The Defence Headquarters in a statement Saturday named Major General K.C. Osuji as the new Commander of the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps and Air Vice Marshal E.E. Osim as the new Commandant of the Command and Staff College.
Before their new positions, Osuji was the Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Jaji, while Osim was the Chief of Aircraft Engineering at Nigerian Air Force headquarters.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, and the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral O.S. Ibrahim, had in the aftermath of the attack at the Jaji Military Cantonment promised hash consequences for all those whose acts of negligence had facilitated the unpleasant incident.
At least 17 people died in the attack, which Ihejirika described as avoidable. The Chief of Army Staff had said that there would be adjustments after the board of inquiry concluded investigations into the bombing.
The statement read, “Following the Board of Enquiry raised by the Defence Headquarters to unravel the circumstances that led to the bomb explosion which rocked St Andrew’s Protestant Church at the Jaji Military Cantonment in Kaduna State last week, the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral O.S. Ibrahim has directed the Services Headquarters to replace with immediate effect the Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji, Air Vice Marshal I.A. Kure, and the Corps Commander, Infantry, also located in Jaji, Major General M.D. Isa.
“Air Vice Marshal E.E. Osim is to replace Air Vice Marshal I.A. Kure as Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), while Maj Gen K.C. Osuji will act as Corps Commander, Infantry, Jaji.”
The statement added that the replaced Generals, Kure and Isa, will be redeployed by their respective services.
Kure assumed duty as Commandant of the Command and Staff College on November 6, three weeks before his removal, following the retirement of his predecessor, Air Vice Marshal Tijani Muazu.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, has explained that delay in the completion of the official transfer of border patrol operations to the Nigerian Air Force was behind the inability of the force to embark on aerial patrol of the country’s borders.
Badeh told Defence Correspondents after declaring open the 2012 Workshop for the Nigerian Air Force Public Relations and Information Personnel in Abuja that the Air Force was for now focused on its maritime patrol duties, while seeking to acquire equipment and other capabilities for air border patrol operations.
The CAS also identified unclear boundary demarcations between Nigeria and its neighbours as a hindrance to effective aerial border patrol, saying, “We have to be very careful to avoid encroaching into another country’s airspace.”
Badeh disclosed that the resources available to the NAF at the moment could not support the repair of all its grounded aircraft, saying, however, that nine new helicopters from Russia will be added to the NAF fleet by next year.
He said the NAF was trying its best in the efforts to resolved the country’s current security challenges, “But it is just unfortunate that for now we don’t have means of detecting Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) from aircraft.”