Nigeria president appoints new military chiefs


ABUJA, Jul 14: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new military chiefs shortly following the dismissal of the nation’s top military commanders citing their poor performance in dealing with persisting Boko Haram terrorism across the nation.

The move came on Monday when presidential spokesman Femi Adesina announced in a statement that president Buhari has  appointed Major General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin as Chief of Defense Staff, Major General Tukur 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.

Other appointments, according to the statement, included Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan as Chief of Defense Intelligence and retired Major General Babagana Monguno as National Security Adviser.

The sacking of former military chiefs, which was widely expected in the face of a nation-wide criticism of the military’s handling of the Boko Haram terrorism in the northeast, was apparently intended to restructure the armed forces prior to launching a campaign to suppress the Takfiri insurgency.

This is while sources at Nigeria’s military headquarters were cited in press reports as saying that the dismissal of the previous military chiefs came “just hours” after the president held a meeting with them at the Aso Rock Villa in the Nigerian capital city of Abuja.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly bombings and armed attacks in Nigeria since the beginning of its operation in 2009. The terror campaign of the Takfiri militants has left some 15,000 people dead and nearly 1.5 million others displaced over the past six years.

The ISIL-linked terror group claims its key objective is to overthrow the Abuja government.



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