President Muhammadu Buhari has finally succumbed to public pressure to dispense with his service chiefs, who have overstayed their tenure for several years.
In an announcement, yesterday, Special Adviser on Media, Chief Femi Adesina, said Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the service chiefs, and their retirement from service.
Those involved 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.
Buhari thanked the old service chiefs for what he called their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.”
He also wished them well in their future endeavours.
The new service chiefs are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Buhari also congratulated the new service chiefs, and urged them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Reacting to the new development, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing new service chiefs for the country.
Wike noted that even though the appointments came late; the President should be commended for listening to the voice of the people.
He challenged the new appointees to see their appointments as an opportunity to re-engineer the nation’s security architecture which has suffered tremendous setback in the last five years.
“The new service chiefs should not politicise security by aligning with politicians.
“What the country needs now is competence and professionalism that will reduce insecurity to the barest minimum,” he stated.
Wike noted that Nigerians who lost confidence in the former service chiefs are looking up to the new appointees to make the desired change.
He called on all levels of government to give the service chiefs the needed support they would require to execute their assignments.
“This is an opportunity to serve the nation and I believe that the service chiefs will be focused and dedicated,” he added.
Also reacting, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stressed that the senior security officers listened to the party’s voice.
The PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the service chiefs outlived their usefulness, hence their resignation, and said the incoming service chiefs should put an end to the spate of insecurity in the country.
The spokesman of the opposition party insisted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was ineffective.
Further reacting, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) challenged the newly appointed service chiefs to see their appointments as a call to revitalize the weakened security architecture to ensure the country is secured for all.
The CUPP, which said this via a statement issued by its National Secretary, High Chief Peter Ameh, while reacting to the appointment of the new military helmsmen in Abuja, said although, the sack of service chiefs was long overdue but still a welcome development..
Ameh charged that, “The new service chiefs must now go to work to make sure that Nigeria is secured for our people to travel across state lines to do business and prosper the nation without the fear of being kidnapped.”
According to him, “The sack of the service chiefs is a great relief to the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Nigerian people as a whole.
“I have no doubt in my mind that those appointed to lead the new and successful onslaught against those who have boldly taken over our ungoverned spaces have been tested and trusted to do the job.”
Similarly, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere described the sack of service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari as a belated exercise.
Reacting to the development, National Publicity Secretary, Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said the sack was belated as the service chiefs should have been sacked before now.
He said Afenifere was not impressed with the sack as it was long overdue.
Odumakin stated that Afenifere did not believe that the agenda that made Buhari to keep the service chiefs had been dropped.
He said the Buhari’s government had not changed its agenda of nepotism and managing the country in a sectional manner.
Odumakin also faulted appointment of the new service chiefs, as there was nobody appointed from the South-East part of the country.
Still reacting, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) called on the newly appointed service chiefs to immediately disband all armed groups and militias in the country.
It also urged the security heads to work in harmony with the civil society to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the state.
The group in a statement by its spokesman, Abulazeez Sulaiman, also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to “reassert himself by taking direct control of the fight to secure the nation and to finally reclaim the nation’s forests, highways and sea that have been lost to insurgents, other armed criminals.”
The statement reads, “The Coalition of Northern Groups has noted the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari has finally acceded to the huge demands made by Nigerians for the replacement of the nation’s service chiefs as a step towards addressing the serious shortfalls in our policing and security institutions.
“The CNG sincerely welcomes the development in the hope that the hundreds of thousands of people in Northern communities that have been at the mercy of insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, rustlers and rapists without any form of security protection would now get respite.
“CNG advices President Buhari as a military General to reassert himself by taking direct control of the fight to secure the nation and to finally reclaim the nation’s forests, highways and sea that have been lost to insurgents, other armed criminals and assortment of militants in various guises.
“We also advise the new service chiefs on the imperative of involving responsible opinion from community leaders and the civil society for civic contributions in initiatives that will address the manner the nation is designed to be policed and secured.
“We expect them to work in direct harmony with all components of the Nigerian society for action to immediately disband all militias and armed groups in Nigeria to ensure that no group in future has the capacity to challenge the state in its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and properties.
“The acceptable position remains that only legally constituted outfits and lawfully sanctioned organizations under the direct control of the Federal Government, as recognized by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, can be so organized, armed and fitted.
“We expect a renewed commitment by our gallant troops and a stronger will from President Buhari in the fight against Boko Haram, bandits and other forms of criminality without the need for floating victory in the media.
“We urge them to fight this insecurity with resolve and awareness of their obligations under the law, as well as the knowledge that victory will only be pronounced when the nation achieves full cessation of hostilities, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in the entire region.
“We appeal to fellow Nigerians to show the highest levels of cooperation, restraint and maturity in the manner we relate with the new security chiefs to ensure our defence. Under no circumstances should we as citizens encourage or harbour acts that will increase our exposure to crime, lawlessness and insecurity.”
It would be recalled that Major General Leo Irabor is from Agbor in Delta State, and was a member of the Regular Course 39 of the NDA.
He served as a Commander Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) of the Nigerian Army, Minna; Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP) Defence Headquarters; the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, and headed the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) as the Field Commander.
The trained engineer also served as Chief of Staff to the Chief of Army Staff.
Major General Attahiru Ibrahim, until his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff, was the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigerian Army.
He was appointed to lead the offensive against Boko Haram in the North-East in May, 2017.
He was, however, redeployed by the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai after a string of attacks by the insurgents, including after giving him a deadline in July to deliver Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau dead or alive within 40 days.
Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao was born on September 14, 1965 at Enugu but hails from Oshogbo LGA of Osun State.
He enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on January 19, 1984 as a member of the 35 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
He had previously served as Trainee/Squadron Pilot, NAF Unit 99 ACTG Kainji (1993-2004), Instructor Pilot/Squadron Pilot, 301 FTS Kaduna (2004-2007), Air Assistance to Chief of Air Staff, Deputy Defence Adviser, Nigerian High Commission London, Assistant Director of Operation Defence Headquarters, Director of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Air Force.
Until his appointment as the Chief of Air Staff by the President, Amao was the Commandant, Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Lagos.
Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo was born on April 22, 1966, and hails from Nasarawa LGA in Kano State.
He enlisted into the Nigerian Navy on September 24, 1984 as a member of Regular Course 36 and was commissioned Sub-Lieutenant on September 24, 1988.
He is an Underwater Warfare specialist with a subspecialisation in Intelligence.
The senior officer has attended several military courses which include, Sub-Technical course and Officers Long course both at NNS QUORRA.
He also attended Junior Division 48/89 and Senior Course 26 both at AFCSC Jaji.
Other courses attended include the National Defence Course at the South African National Defence College.
Until his recent appointment as the CNS, he was the Director of Procurement at the Defence Space Administration.
We Won’t Stop Providing Infrastructure For Rivers People, Wike Vows
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has restated the commitment of his administration to sustain the provision of basic infrastructure that would continue to make life better for Rivers people.
Wike stated this at the flag-off ceremony for the construction of Nkpolu-Oroworukwo flyover, which was performed by the South-South Zonal Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Dan Orbih, last Friday.
The governor said that the urban renewal programme of his administration was restoring the glorious status of Port Harcourt, explaining that the 7th flyover would definitely add to the aesthetics and enhance commercial activities in the area.
“We have our urban renewal programme, designed to bring back Port Harcourt to what it used to be. I am sure this 7th flyover will improve the beauty of this place. The value of the property here will go up and businesses will thrive.
“Port Harcourt is a clean place. It must be maintained. Construction work here will bring employment to our people; our children will be engaged here to work.
“I am still talking with Julius Berger Nigeria Plc to deliver the project in 10 months because I have paid 70 per cent to them. Why should I wait until 12 months for completion?
“So, we are happy, and we have said that when Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) makes promise, it fulfils the promise. We have never disappointed anybody. It is amazing what we have been able to do within this period”, the governor stressed.
Speaking further, Wike expressed gratitude to Rivers people for standing their ground to resist the security agencies when they came to steal their mandate and truncate his re-election.
“Because you gave us the privilege to serve you, we have to pay you back in gratitude. That is why we will provide basic infrastructure that we need in this state.
“In the next few weeks, we are going to flag-off the construction of the cancer and cardiovascular disease centre. It will be the best in this country.
“I said Rivers State deserves the best, and you can see that we are giving you the best for making us proud. You resisted the Army and other security agencies when they came to rig us out.
“We will do everything within our powers for Rivers people. So, be rest assured that we will not sleep until we complete our work”, he promised.
Performing the flag-off of the Nkpolu-Oroworukwo flyover, the South-South Zonal Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Dan Orbih said the performance of Governor Nyesom Wike in office has opened a new floodgate of development in Rivers State.
He noted that Wike has truly become a symbol of what PDP can do and will do when given the opportunity again to govern Nigeria.
“Watching you and seeing all that you have done in the past few months, I am convinced that the challenges and the obstacles you have faced in the course of your stewardship in this state have brought out the best of you, and the state is better for it.
“You have shown courage; you have shown commitment. I have seen that in Rivers State, with what you have done, having the right leadership, everything is possible.
“You have shown that government can work. You have shown that having the right leadership, Nigeria can work again.
“Most of us in the PDP are proud of what you have achieved for the people of Rivers State. I can say proudly that Rivers State is the one place that can compete with Abuja in terms of road network and flyover bridges.”
Also speaking, the Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said that the project was necessitated by the rapidly changing demography and increasing vehicle count in the city of Port Harcourt.
“Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, the 2nd day of March, 2021, the state government signed two contracts with Julius Berger Nigeria PLC for the construction of two flyovers. One of which, is the Nkpolu-Oroworukwo flyover, which we are flagging off, today.
2019 Poll Victory: We’re Rewarding Rivers People With Projects -Wike
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says construction of eight flyover bridges in Port Harcourt, alongside other critical infrastructure projects executed, are a mark of appreciation to Rivers people who steadfastly resisted attempts to use the Army and other security agencies to rig his government out of power in 2019.
Wike stated this at the flag-off of the 802meters’ long Orochiri/Wurukwo flyover bridge, made up of a deck span of 315meters, north and south side ramps of 238meters and 249meters, respectively in Port Harcourt, last Saturday.
“Why we are doing this is because you too played a role in bringing us to government. We also have to pay you back. Remember during the last election, how the Army and other security agencies tried to rig us out in that election. All of you here came out and resisted that. So, for us, having given us that privilege, we have no other choice but to give you good infrastructure.”
He explained that the construction of the Orochiri-Wurukwo flyover bridge at the intersection of Olu-Obasanjo Road and Port Harcourt-Aba Expressway junction was intended to address traffic jam that would arise when the construction work on the Rumuola and GRA Junction flyovers are completed.
Wike said that the reason why the eight flyover bridges have been awarded to construction giant, Julius Berger, was because of the company’s proven integrity, and his administration’s conviction that Rivers people deserve the best infrastructure.
He noted that people often complain about Julius Berger projects being expensive, but added that on the contrary, it was not so.
“I know a road that Julius Berger bided for, and one other company bided for that road. Julius Berger’s bid for that road was N14billion, and then, the other company, which I will not mention, bided for N6billion. Now, we said well, let’s give it to the company that offered a bid of N6billion. And we did not give Julius Berger. That was not my administration, but I was in the administration then. At the end of the day, we spent over N20billion in doing that work. So, from onset, if we had given it to Julius Berger, it would have been better for us, and that road is what we call Obiri Ikwerre Road.”
He appealed to motorists and commuters to bear the inconvenience they would experience throughout the duration of the construction of the eighth flyover.
Probe N510.4m Received From IOCs In Bonny, Family Petitions IGP
The Jumbo Major House Bonny in Rivers State has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to demand the forensic audit of money received by the Jumbo Major House and its sub-houses from all international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Bonny Island.
The family, in a petition made available to newsmen, yesterday, in Abuja, dated January 8, 2021, and signed by Mr. P.O. Okoroafor of Andy Igboekwe (SAN) & Co Chamber, also urged the IG to freeze all the accounts where stolen money collected from the IOCs companies were domiciled.
The petition is titled, “Re: Grand design to truncate, frustrate, thwart, giving false information to the police with intent to suppress, divert and forestall police investigation predicated upon IGP”.
The petition, which consolidated the earlier one dated February 7, 2020, and titled, “Case of fraud, criminal deceit, misappropriation of money in Jumbo Major House”, alleged that a group involving Asai Jumbo, misappropriated N9million, another one led by Prof. Jasper Jumbo, collected N500million, while that of Sodieye Jumbo allegedly received N1,400,000,000.00″.
In the new petition, which Okoroafor said was authorized by Prince Kalada William-Jumbo, the senior principal member of Jumbo Major House of Grand Bonny Kingdom; and Hon. Charles Omuso Jumbo, elder and member of Jumbo Major House, also alleged that suspects in the case were trying to transfer the case from the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) to the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID).
“Our client’s petition was approved by the Inspector General of Police vide a letter dated 7th February, 2020 with reference number CB: 7000/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL.472/315, addressed to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), Area 10, Garki, Abuja. This petition was subsequently assigned to Supol Lawal Mohammed of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB), who with his formidable team, immediately swung into action with the needed mastery and vigour.”
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