On January 26th, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed new Military Service Chiefs, who replaced the outgoing Service Chiefs who were appointed in 2015.
President Buhari congratulated the outgoing Service Chiefs for efforts of “enduring peace to the country.”
“I have accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service. I thank them all for their overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to Nigeria, and wish them well in their future endeavours,” Buhari said.
The new Service Chiefs appointed by the President are:
- Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff
- Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff
- Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff
- Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff
Buhari also disclosed on Wednesday, January 27th that he demands the new Chiefs “prioritize the welfare of their officers & men” as they are fully aware of the high expectations of Nigerians regarding security nationwide.
See below the profiles of the new Service Chiefs:
Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff
- Major General Irabor was born in Agbor, Delta State on the 5th of October, 1965.
- He was admitted into the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, as a member of the 34 Regular Course in 1983 and was commissioned Second Lieutenant on 28 June 1986 into the Nigerian Army.
- He has a degree in Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, and 2 Masters Degree from University of Ghana and the Bangladesh University of Professionals, Dhaka.
- He also studied at the Ghana Armed Forces Staff College Ghana, the National Defence College Bangladesh and Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Programme, USA.
- Before his appointment as Chief of Defence Staff, he served as Chief of Defence, Training and Operations (CDTOP) at the Defence Headquarters, Armed Forces of Nigeria.
- He has also served as Theatre Commander of OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE, in Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram, and also served as Force Commander Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad Basin Area.
Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff
- Born on the 10th of August 1966 in Kaduna State.
- In 2017 he was removed as the Commander leading the fight against Boko Haram, following a rise in attacks by the terrorist group.
- Before his appointment as COAS, he was General Commanding Officer of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu.
Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff
- Before his appointment as Service Chief, he served as the Director of Procurement at the Defence Space Administration.
- Admiral Gambo joined the Navy in 1984, Regular Course 36 and commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant in September 1988.
- An Underwater Warfare specialist, with a sub-specialization in Intelligence and holds a Master’s degree in Transport Management from LAUTECH.
- He has completed courses at the South African National Defence College.
Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff
- Born in Enugu Nigeria.
- Before his appointment, he was the Air Officer Commanding, Air Training Command, Nigeria Air Force Kaduna.
- He is a seasoned combat fighter pilot. Apart from his ab-initio pilot, jet flying and conversion training in the Nigerian Air Force.
- Has attended courses in Tactical and combat training on F7 aircraft (Chinese variant) at the 4thCollege Shijiazhuang and Changzhou China.
- Human Rights Lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), faulted the appointment of the new Service Chiefs for lacking due process, as the Chiefs need the approval of the National Assembly.
- “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,” Falana said.