Friday, 31 January 2014

Nigerian Senate okays appointment of new military chiefs

The Nigerian Senate on Thursday gave approval to the appointment of military chiefs recently nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan, with a view to effectively combat the rising insurgency in the West African country, APA reports quoting Xinhua. 
Appointment of the high-ranking military officers, locally called (security) service chiefs, was okayed after the legislators considered a report of the Senate Joint Committee on Defense.

Leader of the Senate Committee on Defense George Sekibo told reporters that all the nominees were given a clean bill of health, prompting the confirmation of the appointment.

"We have found them fit for the leadership of their respective services and recommend that the Senate do confirm and approve their appointment and decoration by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as Service Chiefs," Sekibo said.

Also confirming the appointments, Nigeria's deputy senate president Ike Ekweremadu, called on the service chiefs to bring their wealth of experience to bear in the discharge of their functions and live up to expectation of the citizens.

On Jan. 16, President Goodluck Jonathan sacked military chiefs of the country and made quick replacements as provided by the constitution.

The Nigerian leader named Air Marshal Alex Badeh as the new defense chief of Africa's most populous country. By the appointment, Badeh, the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, took over from Admiral Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim.

Jonathan said he had briefed the leadership of the National Assembly on the appointment of the new military chiefs and will, in keeping with the provisions of the law, request the legislature to formally confirm the appointments when it reconvenes.

Among other changes made, the Nigerian president also named Maj. -Gen. Kenneth Jacob Minimah as new Chief of Army Staff, to replace Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika.

"Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin takes over from Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu takes over from Air Marshal Badeh as Chief of Air Staff," the Nigerian president announced, saying all the changes were made with immediate effect without stating categorically the reasons for the changes.

Citizens of the country believed the changes were made to intensify efforts to win the war against terrorism.

Nigeria is plagued by a five-year insurgency of Boko Haram, a sect which has proved to be the major security threat in the West African country.

Scores of death and injuries were confirmed by state officials on Tuesday, when the sect launched its latest attack in two northeastern states of Adamawa and Borno.

Thousands of people, including women and children, had been killed since the insurgency started in 2009, although the military has intensified efforts to curtail the attacks in the last three months.

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