Tag Archives: service chiefs

Wike faults NASS confirmation of ex service chiefs as ambassadors.

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Wike said the commission had abandoned its core mandate and left those who canvassed for its establishment disillusioned.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday, faulted the National Assembly for confirming former service chiefs as ambassadors, insisting that it is unjustifiable to confirm officers who were sacked for poor performance.

He said Nigerians were disappointed with the National Assembly for confirming the sacked service chiefs as envoys.

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Wike, who stated this when members of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta visited him at Government House, Port Harcourt, wondered why senators, who agreed with Nigerians on the poor performance of the service chiefs, cleared them for another sensitive appointment.

“Most Nigerians are disappointed at the the Senate for that decision. Convey this to the National Assembly. We must be courageous in whatever we do. Everything must not be done on party affairs. Senators discussed and agreed that service chiefs should be dismissed because they were not performing.

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“Now, the same people who couldn’t perform have been confirmed as ambassadors. What kind of country are we in? In anything we do, we must remember that there is tomorrow and our conscience must be key,” he said.

On the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Wike said the commission had abandoned its core mandate and left those who canvassed for its establishment disillusioned.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike (right) with members of Senate Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), during their visit to the governor in Port Harcourt…yesterday PHOTO: NAN

“I don’t like talking about the NDDC. It is unfortunate to the extent that if those who fought for it knew that this is what will become of the NDDC, I don’t think they would have asked for it,” he said.

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He noted that over the years, various committees on NDDC at the National Assembly have not provided sufficient direction that would make the commission to focus on its core mandate of developing the region.

Governor Wike said some politicians have transformed the NDDC into a cash cow for prosecuting sinister political agenda, and accused the commission of spending N10b to unseat him from office, but that the scheme failed.

He noted that the presidency, National Assembly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and some Niger Delta persons were part of the problem of NDDC, because they do not allow it to perform, saying: “We are enemies to ourselves.”

Speaking, Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Peter Nwaoboshi, said they visited to assure Governor Wike, as host of NDDC, that the commission would be supervised to perform its core mandate.

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“We are aware that you have some reservations with the NDDC based on your state’s previous relationship with the commission. We assure you that we will ensure that the aspirations and aims of creating the NDDC will be achieved.

“We will do everything possible within the limits of the constitution through our oversight functions to achieve its objectives,” he said.

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#Newsworthy

Senate consider Buhari’s request to confirm ex-service chiefs as Ambassadors.

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The Upper Chamber also received Buhari’s request for confirmation of Wukari Bukar

The Senate on Tuesday received President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to confirm former Service Chiefs as non-career ambassador designates to Nigeria foreign missions.

Buhari’s request for a confirmation is contained in a letter addressed to President of Senate Ahmad Lawan and read at plenary.

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Buhari in the letter said: ”in accordance to section 171, sub-section 1, 2 C and Section 4 of 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the underlisted as non-career ambassador designates.

“The non -career ambassador designates are rtd. Gen.Abayomi Olonisakin (Ekiti), rtd. Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai (Borno),
rtd. Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (Cross River), rtd. Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Bauchi) and rtd. Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman (Kano)”.

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Buhari also in a separate letter addressed to the president of the senate also sought the confirmation of the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

President Buhari in the letter said the request was in compliance with the provision of Section 18 sub-section (1)of the Armed Forces Act CAP, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Buhari in the letter said: ”I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the under listed officers as Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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“The officials are Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor,, Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Isiaka Amao, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Auwal Gambo.”

Senate also received a request for confirmation of the appointment of Mr Adolphus Aghughu as the Auditor-General of the Federation.

Buhari also sought senate’s confirmation of Mr Victor Chinemereem Murakor for appointment as Chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC).

Senate also received a request for confirmation of the appointment of Mr Larry Obinna Chukwu as Commissioner representing South-East at the Nigerian Law Reform Commission.

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The Upper Chamber also received Buhari’s request for confirmation of Wukari Bukar as Commissioner representing Yobe, Boronu and Bauchi states at the Federal Civil Service Commission.

Senate thereafter adjourned plenary to Feb. 10, following the demise of a member of House of Representatives, Rep. Ossy Prestige, who represented Aba North and South Federal Constituency.

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#Newsworthy

Main reason Buhari reappoints Adamu as IGP for 3 months

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While the minister announced the tenure of the IGP’s extension, the police chief decorated some newly-promoted officers elsewhere at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, will continue his duty as the nation’s police chief despite the completion of his tenure.

This is the position of the Federal Government after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the extension of the tenure of the police boss by three months.

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The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, announced this on Thursday while briefing reporters at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He explained that the decision to extend the tenure of the police chief was to give the Federal Government ample time to select the appropriate person to succeed him.

While the minister announced the tenure of the IGP’s extension, the police chief decorated some newly-promoted officers elsewhere at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

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The Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to the IGP, Idowu Owohunwa, and the Force Education Officer, Rabi Umar, were decorated with the rank of Commissioner of Police.

Also decorated were ACP Adegbite Tunde Titus, ACP Chinonyerem Welle, and DSP Aderoju Olagunju, amongst others.

Adamu, whose tenure as the Inspector-General of Police elapsed on Monday, held the position for two years.

He was first appointed as the police boss in an acting capacity on January 15, 2019, succeeding former Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris.

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About two weeks after he took over, Adamu submitted the names of six new Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs) to the Police Service Commission for general approval.

He was later confirmed as the 20th indigenous Inspector-General of Police on May 23, 2019 – four months after his appointment.

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#Newsworthy

Buhari appoints Buratai, Olonisakin, Ekwe, others as Ambassadors.

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Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari has nominated immediate past service chiefs of the country as ambassadors.

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“President Muhammadu Buhari has forwarded the names of the immediate past Service Chiefs to the Senate as non-career Ambassadors-Designate,” presidential aide Bashir Ahmad disclosed in a tweet.

President Muhammadu Buhari (right) and the Service Chiefs during a special meeting in his office at the State House, Abuja… yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

The ambassador-designates are retired Defense Chief Abayomi Olonisakin, former Army Chief Tukur Buratai, former Navy Chief Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas and former Air Chief Sadique Abubakar.

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#Newsworthy

Buratai couldn’t ‘keep his mouth shut’ off politics – Wike

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The governor warned that if the new service chiefs are to toe the path of those before them, then the nation will not experience any turnaround in security issues.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State says the security challenges faced under the former security chiefs came as a result of their delving into politics.

According to Governor Wike, “instead of concentrating on the security of the nation, the service chiefs were very much involved in politics.”

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Speaking as a guest on NoRM‘s known Media, Wike urged the new leaders of the armed forces not to toe the path of their predecessors.

“This was the problem we had with the previous chiefs, they were involved in politics rather than face the security of the nation.

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“Nobody can deny that fact; the moment you politicize security, then you are bound to have problems,” Wike stated via a zoom call.

Rivers States Governor, Nyesom Wike speak on why Buratai got sacked, others.

The PDP chieftain said the nation appreciates the change of service chiefs, but warned that the issues do not end at the exchange of baton.

“The new people that are appointed must ask themselves, what is our agenda? Is our agenda to continue with where the last service chiefs stopped, or to make sure we improve?”

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The governor’s statement comes few hours after New Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor led other service chiefs on an operational visit to the Headquarters, Command and Control Centre of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital.

This trip by the new service chiefs serves as the first operational visit aimed at better prosecuting the war against the insurgents and other miscreants across the country, a task which Governor Wike says is too enormous to be mixed with politics.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: Service Chiefs just nominated, not yet appointed – Falana.

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Consequently, he said the Service Chiefs have only been nominated but not appointed.

The news about President Buhari writing to the National Assembly comes a few hours after human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) faulted the president’ appointment of the new Service Chiefs following the resignation of the former officers.

In a statement personally signed by him on Wednesday, Mr Falana quoted a 2013 judgment which described the appointments of Service Chiefs without the concurrence of the National Assembly as illegal and unconstitutional.

“Yesterday, President Buhari was reported to have appointed new service chiefs for the armed forces.

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“Upon a critical review of the law on the subject matter the members of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAP) have found that the appointments remain inchoate as President Muhammadu Buhari has not forwarded the names of the proposed service chiefs to the National Assembly for approval in strict compliance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Armed Forces Act.

“The appointments of service chiefs without the concurrence of the National Assembly which had been the practice since 1999 was challenged in the Federal High Court sometime in 2008 by Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN (the current Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity) in the case of Keyamo v President Goodluck Jonathan (unreported Suit No FHC/ABJ/ CS/611/2008).

“In his landmark judgment delivered on July 2, 2013, Adamu Bello J. (as he then was) held that it was illegal and unconstitutional, null and void for the President to single-handedly appoint Service Chiefs without the approval of the National Assembly having regards to the combined effect of Section 218 of the Constitution and section 18 (1) & (3) of the Armed Forces Act..,” the statement read.

“Because it was acknowledged that the judgment was sound and unimpeachable the Federal Government did not challenge any aspect of it at the Court of Appeal.

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“To that extent, the judgment is binding on all authorities and persons in Nigeria in accordance with the provisions of section 287of the Constitution”.

Falana and ASCAB, therefore, called on President Buhari to forward the names of the proposed Service Chiefs to both houses of the National Assembly for confirmation, stating that a failure to do so, means that the said appointments are liable to be set aside on the basis of the valid and subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court.

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#Newsworthy

Buhari asks National Assembly to confirm new service chiefs.

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Consequently, he said the Service Chiefs have only been nominated but not appointed.

President Muhammadu Buhari has communicated the appointment of the Service Chiefs to the National Assembly and has sought the confirmation of the said appointment by the Senate.

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This communication was done through Buhari’s letter to the Senate President dated 27th January 2021.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare who made this disclosure on Friday stated that this is in furtherance of Section 18 (1) of the Armed Forces Act Cap. A.20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

According to Senator Omoworare, Buhari’s gesture goes contrary to fears expressed in some quarters that the president has “bypassed” the National Assembly in the process of the appointment of the Service Chiefs and that he has no intention of seeking consideration and confirmation of their appointment.

“Mr President, upon nomination for the appointments, sought confirmation of the Senate for the appointment of Major General Lucky Irabor, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao as Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff respectively, vide his aforementioned letter.

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“It is on record that this same procedure was adopted when the immediate past Service Chiefs were appointed. Upon announcement of the appointment of the then Service Chiefs – Major General Abayomi Olonisakin (Chief of Defence Staff), Major General Tukur Buratai (Chief of Army Staff), Rear Admiral Ibok-Efe Ibas (Chief of Naval Staff) and Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Chief of Air Staff), Mr. President had written the 8th Senate on 14th July 2015 for confirmation. Whilst the correspondence was read on the floor of the Senate on 28th July 2015, consideration and confirmation of the appointments was carried out at the Committee of the Whole on 4th August 2015,” Senator Omoworare stated.

The National Assembly is to resume plenary sessions on 9th February 2021, and Omoworare said he is hopeful that then the president’s communication for consideration and confirmation of the nominations for appointment of the Service Chiefs would be undertaken.

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The news about President Buhari writing to the National Assembly comes a few hours after human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) faulted the president’ appointment of the new Service Chiefs following the resignation of the former officers.

In a statement personally signed by him on Wednesday, Mr Falana quoted a 2013 judgment which described the appointments of Service Chiefs without the concurrence of the National Assembly as illegal and unconstitutional.

“Yesterday, President Buhari was reported to have appointed new service chiefs for the armed forces.

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“Upon a critical review of the law on the subject matter the members of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAP) have found that the appointments remain inchoate as President Muhammadu Buhari has not forwarded the names of the proposed service chiefs to the National Assembly for approval in strict compliance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Armed Forces Act.

“The appointments of service chiefs without the concurrence of the National Assembly which had been the practice since 1999 was challenged in the Federal High Court sometime in 2008 by Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN (the current Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity) in the case of Keyamo v President Goodluck Jonathan (unreported Suit No FHC/ABJ/ CS/611/2008).

“In his landmark judgment delivered on July 2, 2013, Adamu Bello J. (as he then was) held that it was illegal and unconstitutional, null and void for the President to single-handedly appoint Service Chiefs without the approval of the National Assembly having regards to the combined effect of Section 218 of the Constitution and section 18 (1) & (3) of the Armed Forces Act..,” the statement read.

“Because it was acknowledged that the judgment was sound and unimpeachable the Federal Government did not challenge any aspect of it at the Court of Appeal.

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“To that extent, the judgment is binding on all authorities and persons in Nigeria in accordance with the provisions of section 287of the Constitution”.

Falana and ASCAB, therefore, called on President Buhari to forward the names of the proposed Service Chiefs to both houses of the National Assembly for confirmation, stating that a failure to do so, means that the said appointments are liable to be set aside on the basis of the valid and subsisting judgment of the Federal High Court.

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#Newsworthy

Femi Falana reacts to appointment of new service chiefs.

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According to the Senior Advocate, these laws have not been obeyed in the latest appointment of Service Chiefs by the president.

Human Rights Lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), says the nation has continued in its habit of operating under an atmosphere of impunity.

Speaking on the appointment of the new Service Chiefs, Mr. Falana said going on to appoint the new leaders of the Armed Forces without the confirmation by the two chambers of the National Assembly, constitutes a disregard for the rule of law.

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Mr. Falana who was a guest on NoRM‘s known Media said the provisions within section 218 of the constitution empower the National Assembly to approve the appointment of the Service Chiefs.

According to the rights lawyer, the new service chiefs have only been nominated by the president and are awaiting confirmation by the legislators.

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Falana was of the opinion that the whole essence of a presidential system of government is to ensure that there are checks and balances.

“Section 18 of the Armed Forces Act makes provision for both chambers of the National Assembly to approve the appointments of Service Chiefs.

“These laws were interpreted in the case of Festus Keyamo versus the President of Nigeria and the decision was rendered in 2018 by retired Justice Adamu Bello.

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“The government did not appeal that judgment, in that case, the court held that by the combined effect of section 218 of the constitution and section 18 of the Armed Forces Act, the National Assembly shall approve or confirm the appointment of Service Chiefs.”

Repeated calls and appointment of new service chiefs
President Buhari on Wednesday accepted the immediate resignation of the former leaders of the armed forces and appointed new officers as replacements.

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.

The replacement of the Service Chiefs came after numerous calls for their sack over the increasing insecurity in the country.

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But despite debates over the reason behind the replacement, the Presidency has maintained that it was considered the best decision for the country at the moment.

President Buhari appreciated the outgoing Service Chiefs for what he calls their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country,” wishing them well in their future endeavours.

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#Newsworthy

Buratai: I left Nigerian army better than I began.

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The former COAS also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve the country as well as providing an enabling environment for him to succeed.

The immediate past Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, says he left the Nigerian Army better than he met.

Buratai stated this in his valedictory speech during the Pulling Out Parade by the Nigerian Army on Friday in Abuja.

He said that the army under his watch had achieved tremendous feat in the fight against insurgency and other security threats in the country.

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He added that he ensured adequate training of personnel and enhancement of war fare capabilities of the army as well as prioritisation of personnel welfare.

“Today is a day of appreciation and not a stocktaking, but let me put on record that I left Nigerian Army better than I met it.

“The Nigerian Army under my leadership was able to achieve great feat in the fight against insurgency in the country.

“We have been experiencing pockets of threats here and there, but I can confidently say that no part of Nigeria is ceded to any terrorist group or criminals.

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“The counter insurgency operation is a warfare new to Nigerian Army but over time, we have continued to device means of tackling the ever evolving dynamic nature of the threats in the country.

“The Nigerian Army has remained resolute in the discharge of its roles as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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“I urge you all to continue to rise to the occasion,” he said.

Buratai said that while it was always necessary to say goodbye at a point in life, he said it was not easy to find the right word to say goodbye to the courageous and dedicated team that worked with him.

He said that Nigerian Army also made giant strides in infrastructure development across the country.

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Buratai commended the officers and soldiers of Nigerian Army for their dedication and loyalty, which he said assisted him to achieve so much in office.

He also commended the effort of the government of Borno in the war against insurgency, assuring that the war would soon be a thing of the past.

He urged politicians to always leave military out of politics, adding that the country needed politicians who are statesmen to support the military in addressing the prevailing security challenges.

According to him, there is no gain saying that there cannot be development without security and lack of development breeds insecurity.

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He solicited support for the new Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, to be able to deliver on his mandate.

NoRM reports that Buratai was officially pulled out of service in a parade held in his honour at Mogadishu Cantonment, Asokoro, Abuja.

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#Newsworthy

Full list of new Service Chiefs.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new Service Chiefs and a National Security Adviser, after sacking their predecessors hours ago.

The president appointed Major-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin as Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General T.Y. Buratai as Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar as Chief of Air Staff.He also appointed Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan as Chief of Defence Intelligence; Retired Major-General Babagana Monguno as National Security Adviser.

The appointments were conveyed in a statement signed by Mr. Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina.Maj.-Gen. Olonishakin (N/6901) hails from Ekiti State. Until his appointment as Chief of Defence Staff, 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, and was until his appointment 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.

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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.

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#Newsworthy

[Nigeria] Experts react after Buhari replaces service chiefs

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Adebayo said the new service chiefs would bring new ideas that would improve the security situation in the country and would want to make an impact.

Prof.Isaac Albert, Director, Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies has applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for the removal of Service Chiefs.

Albert said this on Tuesday in an interview with NoRM‘s known Media in Ibadan.

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The expert said that Buhari had responded to the yearnings of Nigerians by the removal of the service chiefs.

Albert, however, said the removal of the service chiefs only would not solve the security challenges facing the country.

He urged the president to move to the next stage by addressing other challenges such as inadequate equipment and military personnel.

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Albert also called on the military to improve their relationship with the community they operate.

He said that the war against terrorism and banditry cannot be won without winning the minds of the people in communities the military operates.

Also speaking a human rights lawyer, Mr Oladimeji Adebayo, said that the security situation in Nigeria would improve with the appointment of the new service chiefs.

“I think they are going to do their best and justify the confidence imposed on them by Nigerians.

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“We expect to improve the security situation in the country now,” he said.

The new services chiefs appointed by the president are Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.Gen. Leo Irabor, Chief of Army Staff, Maj.Gen. I Attahiru, Rear Admiral A. Z. Gamboa, Chief of Naval Staff and Air- Vice Marshal I. O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

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#Newsworthy

Buhari replaces Service Chiefs

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Gambo would now head the Navy, replacing Navy Chief Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas while Alao takes over from Air Chief Sadique Abubakar.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday announced the replacement of Nigeria’s service chiefs.

In the statement announcing their replacement, Femi Adesina said Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.

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“PMB appoints new Service Chiefs. Maj Gen LEO Irabor, CDS, Maj Gen I Attahiru, Army, Rear Adm AZ Gambo, Navy, AVM IO Alao, Air Force. He congratulates outgoing Service Chiefs on efforts to bring enduring peace to the country,” Adesina tweeted.

Irabor replaces Defense Chief Abayomi Olonisakin, while Army Chief Tukur Buratai is succeeded by Attahiru.

The replaced service chiefs were appointed by Buhari in 2015 after he was elected to his first presidential term but there has been a widespread clamour for their sack as Nigeria continued to wallow in security challenges.

In 2020, the Nigerian House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on all of the military service chiefs to resign. If they do not, the resolution called on Buhari to fire them. Earlier, the Senate had also expressed the view that the service chiefs had to go. The House motion appears to be more formal than the Senate’s action.

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Buhari said the outgoing service chiefs had an “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.” A position many critics would disapprove.

The breakdown of security is nationwide, and it is becoming a major political issue. In 2020, the six southwest states governors moved to establish a security force to supplement and assist the national police force in the face of a kidnapping epidemic. According to a report, twenty-three states across the country have stood up local security organizations, ranging from neighborhood watches to armed police.

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#Newsworthy

Just in: Calls for dismissal of service chiefs ‘displaced’ – Gov’t

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Shehu had earlier criticised the slain farmers for going to their farmlands without military clearance.

Nigerian Government has said the demands for the sack of service chiefs is not the solution to the security challenges in the country.

“The clamour for the sack is out of place considering that the president is not subject to the opinion of opposition political party which has clamoured for this all the time,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in an interview on NoRM‘s known Media TV on Tuesday.

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“It is entirely his (Buhari) determination; he decides who he keeps as his service chiefs and for how long.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has been under renewed pressure from critics, government oppositions and other citizens to reorganise the security architecture in the country after Boko Haram killed about 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari, in Jere Local Government of Borno State over the weekend.

The victims have been buried on Sunday with the state governor Babangana Zulum in attendance.

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Buhari expressed grief over the killing of farmers on rice fields and described the terrorist killings as insane.

While Buhari said he has given an order to the military to confront Boko Haram, Nigerians are demanding the replacement of service chiefs who head different security agencies in the country.

But presidential spokesman Shehu said the appointment and sack of service chiefs are not tied to public demands.

“I am not aware that the tenure of service chiefs is subjected to any law or regulation that is clearly stated,” Shehu said. They serve at the pleasure of the president and (if) the president is satisfied with their performance, he keeps them. The buck stops at his table —with due respect to the feelings of Nigerians.”

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Although the government had previously claimed that it had defeated Boko Haram but Shehu said it is not possible for military operatives to secure every part of the state at once.

He later said his statement was not aimed at being less-empathetic about the loss of lives but to emphasise the need for caution in working around the area.

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#Newsworthy

Insurgency: Don’t blame Buhari, fault Service Chiefs – Masari.

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Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, on Saturday blamed Service Chiefs for the perpetuation of banditry in the state.

According to Masari, President Muhammadu Buhari has done all it takes to ensure security in the region.

He made the remarks while presenting a N10 million economic empowerment cheque to 1,000 women and N7 million scholarship support cheque to 701 students in the Rimi Local Government Area of the state.

The Governor said he couldn’t understand why they haven’t done more to help the region since they (the Service Chiefs) were all Northerners.

He also said the bandits are now camouflaging and living with the people.

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“We know them and their parents,” he said. “To identify bandits in rural communities is not a difficult task, because you know his business, his farmland capacity, his livestock.

FILE: Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, speaks during a visit to an IDP camp in the state on June 28, 2020. (Noble Reporters Media //)

“And if one day he buys a new motorcycle amounting to over N200,000 naira, then you must know that he is selling people’s lives.”

Katsina State has recently been a hotbed for banditry, along with other North-West states.

On August 10, bandits attacked the Kurfi area of the state and kidnapped a 13-year-old girl.

President Buhari has charged security leaders to do more in protecting the region.


#Newsworthy…

Buhari’s discussion with NGF, Service Chiefs | Details.

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Security Council and others over the security challenges in the country.

The meeting ended with calls for a joint strategy to bring various conflicts to an end within time limits.

It also agreed that field commanders should take measures to protect civilian communities, as a confidence-building mechanism between the military and those communities.

According to a statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, it is hoped that when the trust that has been lost between both parties is re-established, there will be improved cooperation in intelligence-gathering and sharing.

The meeting also agreed that poverty and youth unemployment are at the root of the security challenges in the country, and need to be addressed with greater vigour by all tiers of government.

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It also focused on Nigeria’s security policies and approaches in tackling the internal security challenges with a charge that intelligence-gathering and sharing must be optimised for the nation to secure itself.

Security, Intelligence Chiefs Queried
President Buhari presided over the three-hour meeting attended by the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as well as the heads of defence, security, and intelligence agencies.

Members of the Security Committee of the NGF, represented by a governor from each of the six geo-political zones, joined the meeting virtually.

In his remarks, the President used the opportunity to dismiss the assumptions that the terrorists in the North East had far more weapons and money than the government.

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He stressed that what was left of them were “mere scavengers desperate for food, raiding shops and markets, and killing innocent persons in the process.”

President Buhari was also worried that in spite of the fact that borders with neighbouring countries had been shut, bandits and terrorists continued to have access to small weapons.

“These terrorists are in the localities. How is it that they are not short of small arms?” he was quoted as querying the security and intelligence chiefs.

The President stated, “We have said enough on the need for them to rejig their operations. I am glad that there are better synergy and cooperation which are very important.

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“I have directed the service chiefs to meet among themselves in-between the National Security Council meetings. The services have resources; yes, they need more, and mobility, and are doing their best, but there is a need for better gathering and interpretation of intelligence. Our intelligence-gathering must be improved.”

He also informed the governors of the imminent shipment of military weapons and aircraft from Jordan, China, and the United States.

President Muhammadu Buhari with the service chiefs at the meeting on August 11, 2020. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

Bailout For Security
President Buhari, however, called for patience on the part of the people, saying it was important that trained fighters and pilots who must first receive appropriate training man the new weapons and aircraft.

He commended the level of support from neighbouring countries in the war against terrorism in the troubled North East.

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“They are cooperating with us. On Boko Haram, we are making progress with Benin, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon,” he said while restating that intelligence-gathering must improve to be able to track small arms in the Northwest, North Central and Northeast States.

The President was also satisfied with the level of naval activity in the Gulf of Guinea, using newly-acquired equipment.

But he demanded that hard-to-reach areas of Lake Chad, where Boko Haram terrorists have found new havens, as well as the forests now inhabited by bandits, must be accessed and rid of nefarious elements.

“The Chief of Defence Staff has spoken about their study of the forests and their potential danger to security.

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“We must make sure we follow the bandits and terrorists, but there must not be deforestation in view of the climate situation,” President Buhari said.

In their submissions anchored by the NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, the governors highlighted the problems of poverty, unemployment, trust deficit between the military and civilian populations, and the inflow of small arms into the country.

They also noted the problem of coordination among military and security chiefs and played up their own security roles which included the $1 billion they allowed the President to withdraw from the Excess Crude Account for weapons procurement two years ago.

The governors, therefore, urged the President to consider a “bailout” for security for the states in view of the enormity of the resources they now expend in support of the military and the police.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Buhari meets with Governors, Service Chiefs

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President Muhammadu Buhari is again meeting with members of the Nigeria Governors Forum Security Council and Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The meeting which is taking place at the Council Chambers has in attendance, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), the Chief of Staff to the President Prof Ibrahim Gambari and Heads of other security agencies.

Some of the governors joined virtually, they are Chairman of the NGF security council and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, Governor of Bayelsa State Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Borno State Babagana Zulum, Governor of Ebonyi State David Umahi, and Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Others are Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai is represented, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, and the Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi.

Also in attendance were the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufa’i, Chief of Defence Military Intelligence, Air Vice Marshall, Muhammed Salihu Usman, the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, and the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi.


#Newsworthy…

Changing Service Chiefs won’t solve security issues – Mike Ejiofor

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The former Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Mike Ejiofor, has reacted to the security challenges in several parts of the country.

Ejiofor who was a guest on Media TV (known to Noble Reporters Media) said the replacement of the nation’s service chiefs will not address the security concerns.

According to him, the only person authorised to change the service chiefs is President Muhammadu Buhari who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

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While admitting that the heads of security and intelligence agencies have done enough in tackling the issues, their best is not yet enough.

“Even if you change the service chiefs now, under the present operating circumstance and environment, there is not going to be any change.

“Our military and security services are ill-equipped; they are understaffed just like any other sector of our polity. With this pandemic coming in, it becomes a problem. But we have to move forward,” he said.

Speaking further, the DSS former boss called for collaboration for the nation to win the war against terrorism, adding that Nigeria alone cannot curb the menace.

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He noted that the United States had provided technical support for Nigeria through the delivery of a Tucano plane and military asset, adding that the aircraft will take time before arriving in the country.

Ejiofor called for a complete restructuring not just of the country, but also the nation’s security architecture if the battle against insecurity is to be won.

His remarks come amid calls in some quarters for the resignation or replacement of the service chiefs.

Just recently, the National Assembly passed a vote of no confidence on the heads of security agencies for failing to address the spate of attacks and killings in the country.


#Newsworthy…

David Umahi pleads with Buhari on behalf of Service Chiefs

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The Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi has urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to change the nation’s service chiefs.

The Governor made the appeal on Friday while laying the foundation stone of the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital.

The Senate and main opposition party, the PDP, have called for the sack of the service chiefs.

However, Umahi said instead of changing the top officials, more cooperation and information should be provided to them.

“I want to disagree with the National Assembly,” he said. “One thing I’ve realised in this country is that we like change too much. We want everybody to taste every seat. That is not what we need at this crucial time of our security challenges.

“What we need is cooperation with security agencies.”

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He lauded the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu as a “stubborn man” who is committed to upholding the “policies and the laws of the land”.

“The Chief of Army Staff is also a very committed person, very friendly with civil society,” he added.

“So what these people need is cooperation, information. It is difficult for people to do anything without information.

“Even when you change, whoever that is coming is going to learn the ropes. And I believe strongly that the decisions taken by the service chiefs are not taken by them alone but by also the senior officers.”


#Newsworthy…

Sacking and changing service chiefs won’t solve security issues – AVM, Adekunle

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Air Vice Marshal Adebola Adekunle (Rtd), believes changing the country’s service chiefs may not be enough to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.

The security consultant while admitting that there have been calls for the reshuffling of Nigeria’s security apparatus, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s unwillingness to change the service chiefs could be because he (Buhari) knows more about the country’s security challenges.

He said this on Tuesday during his appearance on Media TV (known to Noble Reporters Media)

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“With the benefit of hindsight, I know that the president gets briefings on a regular basis which all of us who are not directly involved in running the Armed Forces are not privy to, ” the former Chief of Training and Operations, Nigerian Air Force, said.

“If the President has been hearing all this hue and cry about changing the service chiefs and he has refused to change them, he must know something that we don’t know.”

President Buhari is not convinced that changing the security chiefs will make a difference in taming insecurity in Nigeria even though Nigerians want a more secured nation, he explained.

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According to him, “If the President feels that changing the service chiefs will make the difference, I am sure he will effect a change. But he is not convinced as we speak that changing them will make the difference that is why he has not effected a change.”

Mr Adebola said since tackling insecurity is one of the cardinal points of the Buhari government, there would have been a change of service chiefs if that will make a difference.

He said while changing the service chiefs may be part of plans to re-engineer the nation’s security apparatus, it will not make the country an “Eldorado.”

“The impression is being created that the moment will change the service chiefs, everything will be resolved over night and Nigeria will become an Eldorado,” he added.

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“I’m just concerned that we will be preparing ourselves for disappointment again. Let’s not create the impression that the service chiefs are the problem right now.”

Presidential Order
On Tuesday, Buhari ordered the re-engineering of the nation’s entire security apparatus.

This was according to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno who briefed journalists after the third National Security Council meeting in 2020 chaired by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The nation’s security adviser called for calm, promising that the President along with the Service Chiefs is doing a lot to handle the insecurity in the northwest and north-central states.


#Newsworthy…

Presidency joins force with Senate to sack service chiefs – New report

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The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday called on Service Chiefs to “step aside”.

On Wednesday, a source close to the federal government claimed that the Senate resolution was reached at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

On Friday July 17, President Muhammadu Buhari had a parley with Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The source asserted that the meeting agreed that the legislature should demand the ouster of the Service Chiefs.

He said: “The lawmakers are providing cover for Mr. President to execute his plan to replace the top military hierarchy. Their removal was sealed at the meeting.

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“You asked why Mr. President has not fired them already? This has been long delayed for reasons best known to him; he now has the rationale.

“Also remember, after that meeting, he warned ministers and heads of agencies to respect the National Assembly.

“That comment was not just about their attitude, disregard for lawmakers’ invitation/summons or ongoing investigative hearings.

“All of these fit into a bigger political play. NASS is being used to provide cover for Mr. President to do what he wants to.”

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The military chiefs, appointed by Buhari in 2015, clocked 5 years in office on July 13.

Arguably, their tenure is the longest enjoyed by security heads since Nigeria became an independent country.

They are Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin – Chief of Defence Staff; Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai – Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas – Chief of Naval Staff, and Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar – Chief of Air Staff.

But despite the spate of insecurity, Buhari has refused to fire them.
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Nigerians and groups have been protesting even in the face of Police harassment and intimidation.

This has not deterred them from condemning the president for retaining the quartet.

They say Buhari, a retired General, only issues occasional directives that are yet to change the situation.

Security and the economy were the two issues the president and the All Progressives Congress (APC) based their electioneering campaign on.

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On a weekly basis, officers and soldiers fighting Boko Haram/ISWAP are killed in action, with some deserting or resigning from the Armed Forces.

Hundreds of marauding terrorists and bandits continue to maim civilians; women and children are not spared.

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Nigeria’s security challenge may be aggravated with the invitation to bandits operating in North-Central and North-West by Boko Haram factional leader, Abubakar Shekau.

A Shekau commander requested “brothers in Lake Chad, Cameroon, Sambisa, Niger State, Zamfara State”, and other locations to join the sect.

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“Keep doing it (attacks) because Allah instructed us in the Holy Quran to strive harder for His cause. Allah has instructed us to kill everyone that is unbelieving.

“We thank God who put us on this path, to promote His words and institute His law. We call you to join us to institute Sharia globally. When you come, we will accept you according to (Shari’ah) law, and we (will) worship Allah as He commands us.”

Meanwhile, going by the latest position, Nigerian lawmakers too have had enough.

On Tuesday, the Senate told the Service Chiefs to go after considering a motion on the rising number of casualties in the Nigerian Army and other security agencies.

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The motion for their resignation was contained in a proposed amendment to the resolutions of the Senate.

It was moved by Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi (PDP – Osun East) and seconded by Betty Apiafi (PDP – Rivers West).

The Red Chamber also urged Buhari to urgently provide modern equipment to enhance the operational capabilities of the military.

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Ali Ndume (APC – Borno South), sponsor of the original motion, under Order 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Rules, recalled that 24 soldiers were recently ambushed and killed along Damboa – Maiduguri road in Borno State.

He decried that similarly, 19 were wounded and 9 declared missing.

“The Senate is disturbed that in Katsina again, about 20 soldiers were also ambushed and killed while several others were wounded. The Senate appreciates the sacrifices of our armed forces in the fight against insurgency, banditry and protection of the territorial integrity of Nigeria,” he said.

Ndume warned that if the trend continues, there will be grievous implications on the fight against insurgency and banditry in Africa’s biggest nation.

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After one minute silence in honour of fallen soldiers, the Senate mandated the joint committee on Army, Air Force, Navy, National Security and Nigeria Police, to receive briefings on the current conditions of affairs.

Lawan charged the committee to look into the desertion of soldiers battling enemies of the state.

“The spirit of this motion is that our Armed Forces are trying very hard, but just like the President said, their good is not good enough. We need to continue to encourage and provide for them. They lay their lives on behalf of us.

“It is very sad that some of them are alleged to have deserted the war front. We need to get to the bottom of this. Our joint committee should be able to find out the facts about this allegation of over 200 deserting the war front”, Lawan added.


#Newsworthy…

Service Chiefs: We’ll do what is best – Presidency says

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The Presidency has reacted to the resolution passed by the Senate on Tuesday, calling for the sack or resignation of the Service Chiefs due to prolonged security challenges in the country.

In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina reiterated the position of the President saying the appointment or sack of Service Chiefs is a Presidential prerogative.

He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, will do what is in the best interest of the country at all times.

The Upper Chamber had called on Nigeria’s service chiefs to step aside as the country continues to grapple with security challenges.

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The Senators made the call during plenary on Tuesday in reaction to a motion by Senator Ali Ndume.

Senator Ndume moved his motion on the back of the recent ambush of soldiers in Katsina and the alleged voluntary resignation of many soldiers.

According to the Senator, both developments and others are worrying.

Despite his concerns about the security situation, Senator Ndume did not call for the dismissal of the service chiefs, neither did he demand that they should step aside.

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The call for them to step aside was made following an additional prayer to his motion in the course of deliberations.

Senator Francis Fadahunsi however made the call for the service chiefs to step aside as part of his contributions to the discourse on the motion.

Other senators okayed the move and passed the resolution for the service chiefs who have been in office since July 2015 to step aside.

The Senators also mandated a joint defence, army, navy, airforce, police and interior committee to engage with the military to ascertain the state of affairs of the armed forces.


#Newsworthy…

Insecurities: Nigerian Senate calls for sack of Service Chiefs

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The Senate has called for the sack of Nigeria’s service chiefs as the country continues to grapple with security challenges.

Senators passed a resolution calling for the dismissal of the service chiefs during plenary on Tuesday in response to a motion by Senator Ali Ndume.

Senator Ndume moved the motion on the back of the ambush of soldiers recently and the alleged voluntary resignation of soldiers.

According to the Senator, it is worrying that soldiers were ambushed recently in Katsina with several of them killed as well as allegations of unprecedented voluntary retirement of over 200 soldiers.

He says if this trend continues, it will have dire consequences on the country.


#Newsworthy…