Screening And Confirmation Of New Service Chiefs Commences

The screening and confirmation of the newly appointed service chiefs has commenced.

The event which is taking place in the Nation’s Capital, Abuja, is being coordinated by the House of Representatives Committee on Defence.

One after the other, the new appointees were called upon to share their portfolios as well as their vision if they are confirmed to take on the new roles.

President Muhammadu Buhari appointed them on January 26, following the resignation of the former officers.

Major-General Leo Irabor replaced General Abayomi Olonisakin as Chief of Defence Staff; Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao replaced Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar as Chief of Air Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo replaced Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas as Chief of Naval Staff; while General Ibrahim Attahiru replaced Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai as Chief of Army Staff.

Below is a brief profile of the new officers.

Chief of Defence Staff

Major-General Leo Irabor was born on October 5, 1965 and hails from Ika South LGA of Delta State.

He is a trained Engineer from Obafemi Awolowo University and holds two Masters degrees from the University of Ghana, Accra, and Bangladesh University of Professionals, Dhaka.

A one-time Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major-General Irabor later took over as the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

He replaces General Abayomi Olonisakin who served as Chief of Defence Staff since July 2015.


Chief of Air Staff

Air Vice-Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao was born on 14 Sep 1965 at Enugu. He hails from Oshogbo in Osun State.

He was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on January 19, 1984.

After several years in service, he replaces Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar who has served as Chief of Air Staff since July 2015.


Chief of Naval Staff

Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo was born on April 22, 1966 and hails from Nasarawa LGA in Kano State.

He was enlisted into the Nigerian Navy on September 24, 1984 as a member of Regular Course 36.

Until his recent appointment, he was the Director of Procurement at the Defence Space Administration.

Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, replaces Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas who served as Chief of Naval Staff since July 2015.

Chief of Army Staff


General Ibrahim Attahiru was born on August 10, 1966, and hails from Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Maj Gen Attahiru Ibrahim was appointed to lead the offensive against Boko Haram in the North-East in May 2017.

He was later replaced by General Nicholas Rogers.

Before his appointment as the new Chief of Army Staff, he oversaw the 82 Division, Nigerian Army.

He replaces Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai who had served in that office since July 2015.

Repeated Calls For Removal

The replacement of the Service Chiefs by President Buhari comes after numerous calls for their sack over the increasing insecurity in the country.

As far back as July, the Nigerian Senate had called on the service chiefs to step aside.

The Senate reiterated its call in December after 43 farmers were killed in Zabarmari, Borno State, by Boko Haram terrorists.

Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, in a Channels Television interview, stressed that the President was breaking the law by keeping the Service Chiefs, who had been in their positions since 2015.

“The President is breaking the law, the law says if you are 60 you must go, it is automatic,” Shekarau said.

“If you are 35 years in service, you must go. In fact, they are not staff of Mr. President, they are the staff of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and there is a rule.”

Members of the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, have also serially called for the top military officials to be replaced.

The Presidency had said President Muhammadu Buhari would make the decision when “the time is right.”

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