After years of dawdling, President Muhammadu Buhari has finally relieved his service chiefs of their positions.
The sacked service chiefs include 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 Marshall Sadique Abubakar.
In a statement released and signed by President Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, the newly appointed military chiefs are Maj. Gen. Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
While thanking the old service chiefs for their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country”, he congratulated the new ones and urged them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Faces of the New Order
Major General Leo Irabor (Chief of Defence Staff)
Major General Leo Irabor is from Agbor in Delta State. He was a member of the Regular Course 39 of the NDA.
The new CDS is the immediate Chief of Defence, Training and Operations (CDTOPs), Defence headquarters.
He is an Alumnus of the Ghana Armed Forces Staff College Ghana, the National Defence College Bangladesh and Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Programme, USA. Major General Lucky Irabor 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.
As the CDTOPs, he oversees training and operations in the Armed Forces of Nigeria under the direction of the Chief of Defence Staff. Specifically, he undertakes periodic reviews of a broad range of policies and activities relating to training and operations in the Armed forces.
In addition to his schedules, he is the Chairman of the AFN Committee on COVID-19. The Committee is working to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease in the establishments of the Armed forces in line with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control protocols. The Committee is also giving support to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 including the deployment of Medical Personnel across the country to boost the available manpower in the management of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.
The General was formerly the Theatre Commander of OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE, North-East Nigeria as well as Force Commander Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad Basin Area.
The operations focused on Counter-Terrorism/Counterinsurgency. He is a distinguished awardee of several militaries, ECOMOG and United Nations Awards and Medals.
AVM Isiaka Oladayo Amao (Chief of Air Staff)
Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao was born on 14 September 1965 at Enugu.
He hails from Oshogbo Local Government Area of Osun State, Nigeria. He enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on 19 January 1984 as a member of 35th Nigerian Defence Academy Regular Course and was commissioned as Pilot Officer on 20 December 1986.
He has the following academic qualifications: Master of Science (MSc) in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras India; Master of Military Science and Strategy (MMSc) and Advance Diploma in Defence and Strategy Studies from National Defence University (NDU) China, Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy from Kaduna Polytechnic Nigeria, National Diploma in Freshwater and Fisheries Technology from Federal College of Freshwater and Fisheries Technology (FCFFT) New Bussa Nigeria and Nigerian Defence Academy Certificate of Education.
Major General I. Attahiru (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, sacked by the immediate Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Buratai from the frontlines in December of 2017 after he failed to meet a July 2017 deadline to deliver Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau dead or alive within 40 days.
After Buratai axed him as leader of the offensive against the sect, General Nicholas Rogers who led a special military and police unit to tackle ethnic clashes in the volatile central region, was named as his replacement.
Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo (Chief of Naval Staff)
The new Naval, who was born in 1966 hails from Nasarawa LGA in Kano State. He enlisted into the Nigerian Navy on 24 Sep 84 as a member of Regular Course 36 and was commissioned Sub-Lieutenant on 24 Sep 88.
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.