By Deji Elumoye and Udora Orizu
The Senate Joint Committees on Defence, Army, Navy and Air force yesterday screened the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the three military Service Chiefs nominees, as they pledged to reposition the armed forces as well as tackling headlong the security challenges facing the country.
The nominees, Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS); Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff (COAS); Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff (CONS); and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), during their screening assured Nigerians of their resolve to effectively reposition the Nigerian armed forces as well as tackle security challenges currently facing the country.
Speaking first, the CDS nominee, Major General Irabor, promised Nigerians armed forces capable of effectively meeting the imperatives of the constitution.
He said: ‘’As chief of defence staff, if confirmed, I intend to make the armed forces in a manner that will foster a professional military capable of effectively meeting the imperatives of the constitution. So far, the mandate of the president is very clear, and the resolve of the Minister of Defence is equally very clear to me and my colleagues. I have had extensive experience, and I hope as we interact together, you will see more of what we could deliver in a manner that Nigerians will be happy in the security space.’’
Also speaking, the COAS, Major General Attahiru, assured Nigerians that he would provide the right leadership to the Nigerian Army.
He said he would work assiduously with other service chiefs to ensure a Nigerian army repositioned to professionally defeat all adversaries.
According to him, “I assure all the distinguished senators here present that if confirmed, I will provide the right leadership to the Nigerian army in line with my vision. My vision is a Nigerian army repositioned to professionally defeat all adversaries. Furthermore, I assure you that I will do all that is necessary to work assiduously with other service chiefs to bring an end to the security challenges in the country. My mission envisions a Nigerian army that’s repositioned to defeat all adversaries, and provide effective leadership for the Nigerian army through capacity building in a timely manner. My goals are also to enhance capacity, development and ensure continued reform of the Nigerian army, structured to fit emerging trends, appropriate resourcing our troops with strategic communication.’’
On his part, the Chief of Naval Staff nominee, Rear Admiral Gambo, said he would use technology and team work to reenergise the Nigerian navy in fulfillment of the national security objectives.
‘’If confirmed, my vision is to leverage on all factors of national location, technology, training, team work and synergy to reenergise the Nigerian navy, as a well-motivated naval force in fulfillment of the national security objectives,” he said
Also, the CAS nominee, Air Vice Marshall Amao, promised not to let the Nigerian people down, pledging to ensure the current security situation in the country is a thing of the past.
Amao said: “I promise that I will not let the Nigerian people down, and I will do my best in connection with my colleagues to ensure the security situation in this country is a thing of the past. I have a vision to enhance and sustain critical air power capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of the national security imperatives.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, (rtd), who accompanied the service chiefs to the screening in the Senate, expressed optimism that the appointments have ushered in fresh minds in addressing the security challenges in the country.
He reassured Nigerians that the arm forces would give whatever it takes to protect lives, property and territorial integrity of the country.
Magashi said: ‘’I commend the president for approving the appointment of this new service chiefs and chief of defence staff, following the retirement of their predecessors. No doubt, the appointments have ushered in fresh minds in addressing the security challenges of this country.
“These appointments also are coming at a time when the ministry of defence is inviting on a reform for the defence architecture of this country to address identified gaps. It is also held that the appointments complimented by an efficient defence structure will yield a desired nation. In the months ahead, the armed forces in collaboration with agencies will significantly tackle the menace of banditry, terrorism and other security challenges in the country.”