Nigeria’s New Service Chiefs And The Tasks Of Securing Nigerians

by Balkisu Saleh

On the 26th January 2021, Nigerians woke up with the surprising news of the resignation of the country’s service chiefs and the subsequent appointment of new ones by President Mohammadu Buhari after accepting the resignation of the former heads of the country’s security chiefs.

They were appointed on July 13th, 2015 after the president muhammadu  Buhari assumed office amidst the growing security challenges facing Nigeria, a development many attributed led to the defeat of the then PDP led administration under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Olanisakin led service chiefs spent between 36 to 40 years in office( 4years 6months) far above their retirement age.

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The former chief of defence staff, Gabriel Olanisakin, a general, Tukur Burutai, former chief of army staff, Abubakar Sadique, former chief of air staff and Ibok Ibas, former chief of naval staff, their stay is said to be the longest in the history of the Nigerian armed forces characterized by controversies over their retirement.

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Their stewardship was of course in the period of one of the country’s enormous security challenges as over a decade Nigeria has been battling insurgency activities tagged ” Boko Haram” terrorists in the Northeast and other parts of the country.

Nigeria’s security challenges however escalated to kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling among others which further infuriated most Nigerians to call for the immediate sack of the service chiefs to allow for fresh blood and techniques so as to combat crimes and criminality.
After about forty years in service, former Nigeria’s service chiefs officially resigned from service and President mohammadu Buhari immediately accepted their resignation. 
He appointed new ones into the exalted but tasking position particularly now that all eyes are on them to make the needed changes by degrading and ending the Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping, banditry among others to enable Nigerians sleep with their two eyes closed. 

The enormous security challenges facing Nigeria has no doubt crippled the critical sectors of the economy as huge funds are being spent on security alone by governments at all levels, instead of channelling such funds to infrastructural development in the education, health and agricultural sectors as well as job creation for the teeming unemployed youth in Nigeria, crippled business activities, destroyed farming activities and above all scared foreign investors.

President Mohammad Buhari in his maiden meeting with the new service chiefs acknowledged the insecurity wracking the nation, as he urged them to “concentrate their efforts on helping his administration to deliver on its electoral pledge to make Nigeria a a safer place for citizens to live”.

The task and challenges before the new service chiefs therefore is to strive hard and effect the needed changes by halting the activities of Boko Haram, kidnapping, banditry among others to be able to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the country’s security apparatus for sustainable growth and development.

Balkisu Saleh writes from Mass communication Department, Abubakar Tatari Ali polytechnic ATAP,  Bauchi.


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