Buhari Sacks Service Chiefs, Names New Military Chiefs

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Deji Elumoye in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new service chiefs. The appointment was sequel to the resignation of the Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs.

According to a statement issued Tuesday by the President’s Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, 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 statement said President Buhari congratulated the new Service Chiefs, and urged them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.

The statement said Buhari accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.

The retired service chiefs 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 statement the President thanked the outgoing Service Chiefs for what he called their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country,” and wished them well in their future endeavours.

There had been calls for the removal of the service chiefs following the worsening security situation in the country.

The call for the sack of the service chiefs, which predated Buhari’s second term in office, became more strident not only because of the rising wave of insecurity but also due to the fact that the security chiefs were overdue for retirement.

Their continued stay in office despite the worsening security situation was seen as hampering the career growth of their subordinates, many of who retired without getting to the peak of their career in the armed forces.

While former CDS Olonisaki, a member of the 25th regular combatant course, spent about 40 years in service, former Army Chief Buratai and former Naval Chief Ibas spent 38 years in service. The sacked Air Chief Abubakar spent about 40 years in service. The statutory retirement age is 35 years in service or 60 years of age (whichever comes first).