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.
“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.
Gambo would now head the Navy, replacing Navy Chief Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas while Alao takes over from Air Chief Sadique Abubakar.
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.
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 Guardian report, twenty-three states across the country have stood up local security organizations, ranging from neighborhood watches to armed police.