Buhari Orders Service Chiefs To Identify Leaders Of Bandits, Kidnappers

President Muhammadu Buhari and National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno during the meeting with Service Chiefs at the State House on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday ordered the service chiefs to identify the leaders of the bandits and kidnappers and take them out to restore confidence in the areas affected.

The president gave the directive as a first assignment to the service chiefs and declared that he would no longer condone a situation where kidnappers set the tone.

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno told State House correspondents that President Buhari gave this directive to Service Chiefs at the security meeting held at the presidential villa.

Monguno said the President also issued a warning to all those collaborating with criminals, promising to deal decisively with them.

The Service Chiefs and National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno during the National Security meeting at the State House on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

 

Also, the Service Chiefs at the security meeting disclosed that they have identified weak areas that would be strengthened to appropriately fish out collaborators with non-state actors.

READ ALSO: Recruit 50 Million Youths Into Army To Tackle Insecurity – Tinubu Tells FG

Monguno said further that the President is aware of plans by individuals who constitute themselves as authorities to undermine the efforts of the central government and is sending out a warning that the government would clamp down on them.

Monguno added that the President wants more proactive action from the military, as he issues a strong directive.

“On the issues of kidnapping and banditry, this menace still persists, especially in the North West and the North-Central zones.

“Mr President has been very emphatic. He has stated clearly that this problem must be brought to an end, but using the traditional methods that the armed forces have been trained to deploy.

“Mr President has made it very clear to both the intelligence and operational elements that the first assignment will be to identify the leaders of these bandits, kidnappers and take them out, in order to restore confidence in those areas,” Monguno said.

He also conveyed the President’s displeasure over some persons who collaborate to undermine efforts of the Federal Government in Zamfara State.

“He is also aware of attempts by certain elements, working in cahoots with all kinds of people in and out of the country to continue to exploit the minefields, especially in Zamfara State.

“A ban has been placed on mining and that ban has to be enforced. People have to comply with whatever the President has laid out.

Of course, we, in the intelligence domain are aware that there are individuals and groups who are planning to link up with all kinds of non-state actors in order to frustrate the efforts of the government in implementing the ban on mining, as well as enforcing the no-fly-zone so that no rotary aircraft will land, drop whatever and pick up whatever. That has to be enforced.”

Buhari Meets With Service Chiefs Ahead Of UK Trip

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a security meeting at the State House in Abuja.

This is taking place hours before his scheduled trip to the United Kingdom today for a routine medical check-up.

Those in attendance Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor who arrived at the State House shortly before 10.00 am; the Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff, Awwal Gambo, and the Chief of Air Staff, Marshal Isiaka Amao.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Colloquium: We Are Better, Stronger Together – Buhari Tells Nigerians

Others at the meeting include Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno; and the Inspector General Of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

President Buhari is expected to proceed to London, the United Kingdom for a routine medical check-up, later today.

He is expected back in Nigeria during the second week of April 2021.

President Buhari had embarked on several medical trips between 2015 and 2019. During one of his trips in 2017, he spent 103 days in London with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, acting as the President then.

Not Just Zamfara, North West Needs More Troops, Matawalle Tells Service Chiefs

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, at a meeting with the service chiefs at the Government House in Gusau on March 9, 2021.

 

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, has called for the deployment of more troops across the north-west region of the country.

He made the call on Tuesday when he received the service chiefs at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.

The governor stated that there must be blocking forces to block the routes of bandits from moving from one state to another, stressing that troops deployed to Zamfara should not stay in the city but go to the heated area and take the battle to different bandits’ camps in the state.

“We need more deployment of troops across the whole North West, not just Zamfara, and we equally appreciate all the efforts of Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari toward defeating the lingering issues of banditry.

“Particularly, we appreciate the recent resolution to deploy additional 6,000 troops to complement the effort of those already on the ground,” he told the military leaders.

Governor Matawalle insisted that there was no evidence or proof linking mining activities in the state to banditry.

He said the state government would continue its dialogue process and support military onslaught against recalcitrant bandits.

“There is also the need for more fighting equipment such as gun trucks and tankers to be placed, if possible, in most of the routes of these criminals and I appeal to you that the troops you will be deploying to Zamfara should not remain in the city, they should go to the epicentre of all the forests,” the governor added.

The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who led the service chiefs on the visit informed the governor that the military was ready to flush out criminals in Zamfara and other parts of the country.

He explained that they were in the state on a day working visit to assess the security situation and ongoing military operations to end the security challenges.

According to the defence chief, it is time to bring an end to the security challenges bedevilling the state and the country at large.

He gave an assurance that the military would go all-out against criminal elements who do not want peace to prevail in the country.

Irabor said, “We are aware of expectations arising from the unending state of insecurity in Zamfara State; the whole essence of establishing Operation Hadarin Daji is to work in partnership with the other security agencies and ensure that peace returns.

“We are here as soldiers, we are only after bad people, we deal with bad people, we come because we don’t want people to live in fear anymore.”

“But we need you (traditional rulers) to support us, we need you to pass relevant information; you’ve been doing it, but I also pray and urge you to increase the tempo,” he added.

You Have Few Weeks To Secure The Country, Buhari Tells New Service Chiefs

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday told the nation’s new service chiefs that they have only a few weeks to secure the country.

Buhari while decorating them at a ceremony held in the State House, Abuja said he expected that before the rainy season, they would have secured the country to the level that farmers who had fled their farms in different parts of Nigeria would have developed enough confidence to return to their farms.

“During our four-hour security meeting, on Tuesday, I had taken the responsibility as Commander-in-Chief for you to go out into the field and secure the country.

“You have got a few weeks to do that because, by the rainy season, we expect people to develop confidence and go back to the land so that we don’t get into trouble by being away from the field and therefore unable to produce enough food for the nation,” President Buhari said.

RELATED:

Buhari Decorates New Service Chiefs

Dr Ngong Cyprian Makes History As First Person To Take COVID-19 Vaccine In Nigeria

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina in a statement announcing Buhari’s order to the Service Chiefs added that the President asked the chiefs to see their appointment, clearance, and decoration as a vote of confidence on them.

“For those (of you) that have been confirmed by this ceremony, the decoration, in front of your spouses, is a further confidence loudly expressed on you on behalf of the nation, to respond to the insecurity the country is in,  and the nation looks up to you  for rapid relief,” President Buhari said.

He assured them of his firm support as they deliver on their responsibilities.

“I have accepted responsibility for your actions in the field; it’s up to you to identify your competent officers irrespective of seniority and paper qualification and deploy them to make sure that we secure this country.

“We all look forward to you to perform and I as the Commander-in-Chief, I am backing you hundred percent, and I expect you to effectively deploy your officers and men to secure the country,” the President said.

Responding on behalf of the other service chiefs, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor assured the President that they will not fail in their responsibilities as the mandate is clear.

“Nigeria will have peace again. Based on the mandate, we will address all issues, working with all other security organisations,” he said.

Others that were decorated are Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru as Chief of Army Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo as Chief of Naval Staff, and Air Marshal Isiaka Amao as Chief of Air Staff.

Wednesday Update: Zamfara Schoolgirls, COVID-19 Vaccines & Service Chiefs

Good morning.

We are leading with the return of schoolgirls in Zamfara, the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, and the confirmation of security chiefs.


Some of the abducted girls after regaining their freedom. (Photo by Aminu ABUBAKAR / AFP)

Jangebe Schoolgirls Regain Freedom

Tuesday morning started on a bright note as schoolgirls kidnapped from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State last Friday were released.

Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle said the girls were released with the help of repentant bandits without any ransom paid.

The Governor put the number of girls recovered at 279, although the police had earlier said 317 girls were taken.

President Muhammadu Buhari celebrated the release but called for greater vigilance. Later on Tuesday, the President declared a no-fly-zone across Zamfara State and banned all mining activities as part of measures to tackle the North-Western state’s security challenges.


Nigeria Receives First Batch of Vaccines

Nigeria finally took delivery of almost four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday.

The vaccines, donated by the WHO-backed COVAX, arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, around noon via an Emirates airline (above) and were received by top government officials led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.

Another 41 million vaccines are expected to arrive from the African Union.

Reaction: The President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Innocent Ujah, and the National Incident Manager of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. Mukhtar Muhammed said the arrival of the vaccine does not mean the pandemic has ended.


Newly appointed service chiefs

Senate Confirms Service Chiefs

The Senate has confirmed the appointment of the newly appointed Service Chiefs.

After the confirmation on Tuesday, Senate President Ahmad Lawan advised the new service chiefs to take the insurgency war to the terrorists and bandits and dislodge them from their enclaves.

Meanwhile, Boko Haram insurgents have attacked Dikwa local government area in Borno State and abducted at least seven aid workers. The United Nations said the insurgents had “directly targeted” aid facilities.

In its account of the attack, the army said it was able to repel the terrorists and denied that they were able to attack a United Nations base.

Mass Resignation: The House of Representatives has called for improved welfare for troops and effective delivery of welfare packages across the ranks after a total of 356 soldiers resigned in July 2020.


What else is happening?

Omoyele Sowore: The #RevolutionNow convener appeared in court with a ‘spiritual adviser’.

PDP: Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Tuesday led a group of party chieftains to a closed-door meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom embraces his Bauchi counterpart, Bala Mohammed following their reconciliation on March 2, 2021 in Rivers State.

 

Herdsmen Crisis: Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed and his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom have settled their differences over comments made on AK-47 amid the security situation in the country.

Abdulrasheed Maina: Money recovered by the ex-Pension boss was used to fund the 2012 budget, a witness told the Federal High Court on Tuesday.

Ekiti State: Gunmen have kidnapped another foreigner along Igbemo Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government Area.

Ebola: Guinea has launched a vaccination campaign after a fresh outbreak of the deadly disease struck the country this month, with officials hoping to eradicate the virus in six weeks.

Alexei Navalny: The United States has imposed sanctions on the director of Russia’s FSB security agency after finding it carried out the near-fatal poisoning of President Vladimir Putin’s leading critic.


And that’s it for today.

For more updates, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channelbit.ly/2Hb8hjx

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Senate Confirms Appointment Of Service Chiefs

Newly appointed service chiefs

 

The Senate has confirmed the appointment of the newly appointed Service Chiefs.

They are Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Air Staff Air Vice-Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Army Staff General Ibrahim Attahiru.

After the confirmation on Tuesday, Senate President Ahmad Lawan advised the new service chiefs to take the insurgency war to the terrorists and bandits and dislodge them from their enclaves.

He reminded them to be conscious of the fact that Nigerians expect a lot from them to address the security problems confronting the country.

Their confirmation comes barely a week after the House of Representatives confirmed their appointment.

President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed the new service chiefs on January 26, following the resignation of the former officers.

There had been numerous calls for the sack of the former service chiefs over the increasing insecurity in the country.

READ ALSO: House Of Reps Confirms Appointment Of Service Chiefs

As far back as July, the Nigerian Senate had called on the service chiefs to step aside.

The Senate reiterated its call in December after 43 farmers were killed in Zabarmari, Borno State, by Boko Haram terrorists.

Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, in a Channels Television interview, stressed that the President was breaking the law by keeping the Service Chiefs, who had been in their positions since 2015.

“The President is breaking the law, the law says if you are 60 you must go, it is automatic,” Shekarau said.

“If you are 35 years in service, you must go. In fact, they are not staff of Mr. President, they are the staff of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and there is a rule.”

Members of the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, have also serially called for the top military officials to be replaced.

The Presidency had said President Muhammadu Buhari would make the decision when “the time is right.”

House Of Reps Confirms Appointment Of Service Chiefs

 

The House of Representatives has confirmed the appointment of the newly appointed Service Chiefs.

The report of the Committee on Defence was presented by the Chairman, Babajimi Benson, during plenary on Tuesday and considered by the committee of the whole, before it was adopted by the House.

According to the committee chairman, the nominees were thoroughly screened.

Read Also: Senate Confirms Nomination Of Ex-Service Chiefs As Ambassadors

The service chiefs are also being screened by the Senate Committee on Defense.

The process had commenced last Wednesday when the new appointees were called upon to share their portfolios as well as their vision if they are confirmed to take on the new roles.

Their confirmation by the House of Reps today comes shortly after the Senate nominated the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors, despite criticisms in some quarters.

A file photo of the immediate past service chiefs ahead of a Security Council meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed the new service chiefs on January 26, following the resignation of the former officers.

Major-General Leo Irabor replaced General Abayomi Olonisakin as Chief of Defence Staff; Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao replaced Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar as Chief of Air Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo replaced Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas as Chief of Naval Staff; while General Ibrahim Attahiru replaced Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai as Chief of Army Staff.

Below is a brief profile of the new officers.

Chief of Defence Staff

Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Leo Irabor

 

Major-General Leo Irabor was born on October 5, 1965 and hails from Ika South LGA of Delta State.

He 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.

A one-time Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major-General Irabor later took over as the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

He replaces General Abayomi Olonisakin who served as Chief of Defence Staff since July 2015.

 

Chief of Air Staff

Chief of Air Staff, Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao.

 

Air Vice-Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao was born on 14 Sep 1965 at Enugu. He hails from Oshogbo in Osun State.

He was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on January 19, 1984.

After several years in service, he replaces Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar who has served as Chief of Air Staff since July 2015.

 

Chief of Naval Staff

Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo.

 

Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo was born on April 22, 1966 and hails from Nasarawa LGA in Kano State.

He was enlisted into the Nigerian Navy on September 24, 1984 as a member of Regular Course 36.

Until his recent appointment, he was the Director of Procurement at the Defence Space Administration.

Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, replaces Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas who served as Chief of Naval Staff since July 2015.

Read Also: President Buhari Replaces Service Chiefs


 

Chief of Army Staff

Chief of Army Staff, Major-General I. Attahiru.

 

General Ibrahim Attahiru was born on August 10, 1966, and hails from Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Maj Gen Attahiru Ibrahim was appointed to lead the offensive against Boko Haram in the North-East in May 2017.

He was later replaced by General Nicholas Rogers.

Before his appointment as the new Chief of Army Staff, he oversaw the 82 Division, Nigerian Army.

He replaces Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai who had served in that office since July 2015.


Repeated Calls For Removal

The replacement of the Service Chiefs by President Buhari comes after numerous calls for their sack over the increasing insecurity in the country.

As far back as July, the Nigerian Senate had called on the service chiefs to step aside.

The Senate reiterated its call in December after 43 farmers were killed in Zabarmari, Borno State, by Boko Haram terrorists.

Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, in a Channels Television interview, stressed that the President was breaking the law by keeping the Service Chiefs, who had been in their positions since 2015.

“The President is breaking the law, the law says if you are 60 you must go, it is automatic,” Shekarau said.

“If you are 35 years in service, you must go. In fact, they are not staff of Mr. President, they are the staff of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and there is a rule.”

Members of the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, have also serially called for the top military officials to be replaced.

The Presidency had said President Muhammadu Buhari would make the decision when “the time is right.”

 

Screening And Confirmation Of New Service Chiefs Commences

 

The screening and confirmation of the newly appointed service chiefs has commenced.

The event which is taking place in the Nation’s Capital, Abuja, is being coordinated by the House of Representatives Committee on Defence.

One after the other, the new appointees were called upon to share their portfolios as well as their vision if they are confirmed to take on the new roles.


President Muhammadu Buhari appointed them on January 26, following the resignation of the former officers.

Major-General Leo Irabor replaced General Abayomi Olonisakin as Chief of Defence Staff; Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao replaced Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar as Chief of Air Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo replaced Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas as Chief of Naval Staff; while General Ibrahim Attahiru replaced Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai as Chief of Army Staff.

Below is a brief profile of the new officers.

Chief of Defence Staff

Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Leo Irabor

 

Major-General Leo Irabor was born on October 5, 1965 and hails from Ika South LGA of Delta State.

He 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.

A one-time Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole, Major-General Irabor later took over as the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC).

He replaces General Abayomi Olonisakin who served as Chief of Defence Staff since July 2015.

 

Chief of Air Staff

Chief of Air Staff, Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao.

 

Air Vice-Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao was born on 14 Sep 1965 at Enugu. He hails from Oshogbo in Osun State.

He was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on January 19, 1984.

After several years in service, he replaces Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar who has served as Chief of Air Staff since July 2015.

 

Chief of Naval Staff

Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo.

 

Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo was born on April 22, 1966 and hails from Nasarawa LGA in Kano State.

He was enlisted into the Nigerian Navy on September 24, 1984 as a member of Regular Course 36.

Until his recent appointment, he was the Director of Procurement at the Defence Space Administration.

Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, replaces Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas who served as Chief of Naval Staff since July 2015.

Read Also: President Buhari Replaces Service Chiefs


 

Chief of Army Staff

Chief of Army Staff, Major-General I. Attahiru.

 

General Ibrahim Attahiru was born on August 10, 1966, and hails from Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Maj Gen Attahiru Ibrahim was appointed to lead the offensive against Boko Haram in the North-East in May 2017.

He was later replaced by General Nicholas Rogers.

Before his appointment as the new Chief of Army Staff, he oversaw the 82 Division, Nigerian Army.

He replaces Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai who had served in that office since July 2015.


Repeated Calls For Removal

The replacement of the Service Chiefs by President Buhari comes after numerous calls for their sack over the increasing insecurity in the country.

As far back as July, the Nigerian Senate had called on the service chiefs to step aside.

The Senate reiterated its call in December after 43 farmers were killed in Zabarmari, Borno State, by Boko Haram terrorists.

Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, in a Channels Television interview, stressed that the President was breaking the law by keeping the Service Chiefs, who had been in their positions since 2015.

“The President is breaking the law, the law says if you are 60 you must go, it is automatic,” Shekarau said.

“If you are 35 years in service, you must go. In fact, they are not staff of Mr. President, they are the staff of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and there is a rule.”

Members of the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, have also serially called for the top military officials to be replaced.

The Presidency had said President Muhammadu Buhari would make the decision when “the time is right.”

FG Delegation, Service Chiefs Meet Northern Governors And Leaders Over Security Challenges

Service chiefs and northern governors at the meeting.

 

A delegation of the Federal Government and the newly appointed service chiefs on Monday met with northern governors.

The meeting which was held in Kaduna State had in attendance governors of Kaduna, Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, Jigawa, Kano, Sokoto, and Plateau states.

The National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno, northern traditional rulers, clerics were also part of the meeting.

In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor said the meeting is to intimate the governors and other leaders that the security situation in the North West is of great concern to the Federal Government.

READ ALSO: Leaders Call for Calm in Shasha Market

He also assured that the Armed Forces is rejigging the nation’s security architecture in order to effectively tackle the security challenges in the zone and other parts of the country.

NSA Monguno, said the meeting is a fallout of his dialogue with service chiefs, heads of law enforcement, security, and intelligence agencies to discuss the threats of kidnapping, terrorism, and other security issues threatening the lives and property of Nigerians.

He added that the Federal Government is deeply committed to tackling the security challenges confronting the entire country especially with the appointment of new Service Chiefs.

He also urged all stakeholders including political and religious leaders to collaborate with the government towards finding lasting solutions to the problem.

Popular cleric, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, in his remarks described the recent conflict in the southwest zone as the handiwork of a few miscreants whose intention is to cause an ethnic crisis.

He, however, called on all citizens especially those from the North to shun any form of reprisal and promote things that will further unite the country.

NSA, Service Chiefs, To Meet With Governors, Others Over Insecurity

FG Denies Alleged Plot To Shutdown Internet During Elections
A file photo of the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd).

 

The Federal Government has concluded plans to hold town halls on the security of the nation with the state governors, traditional and religious leaders, members of the legislature, as well as non-governmental, youth and women organisations.

This was disclosed in a statement from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, on Saturday in Abuja.

The statement explained that Monguno would lead a delegation of heads of federal law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies to the geo-political zones of the country.

It added that the meetings would provide a direct assessment of the security situation, generate local feedback and recommendations, encourage geo-political synchronisation of effort among states, and create a pathway to lasting peace and security.

“The first of the town halls is scheduled to hold in Kaduna State on Monday, 15 February 2021 with all seven governors of the north-western states.

“The Federal Government is deeply concerned about the current spate of criminal activities and is taking major steps to strengthen the capacity of security agencies while upgrading the security architecture, and implementing a multi-pronged strategy that involves political, humanitarian, economic and security measures,” part of the statement read.

The government stated that it was committed to working with the states and community leaders to strengthen peace, security, and development in all parts of the country.

According to the statement, the NSA believes addressing the security threats calls for the deployment of all national assets, including the cooperation of all Nigerians.

It noted that Monguno convened a meeting of the General Security Appraisal Committee (GSAC) which was attended by the nation’s Service Chiefs and heads of law enforcement, security, and intelligence agencies on Thursday.

The meeting, which discussed the threats of kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, armed robbery and their resultant consequences on lives and property, was in furtherance of the government commitment to address multiple security threats facing Nigeria.

As part of renewed commitment to making Nigeria safe and secure, the meeting resolved to strengthen interagency coordination, stakeholders’ engagement, and consultation in order to find a lasting solution to the multiple security threats.

“Working with the Service Chiefs and heads of security and intelligence agencies, the National Security Adviser is coordinating a Whole-of-Government and Whole-of Society approach that cuts across the Legislature, Judiciary, Ministries and Departments, States and Local Governments, and the Civil Society to ensure that every stakeholder plays a role in securing our towns and villages,” the statement added.

‘A University Of Liars’: Presidency Lambasts PDP Over Criticism Of Ex-Service Chiefs

A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu

 

The Presidency on Saturday said the Peoples Democratic Party was grasping at straws over its criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of the ex-Service Chiefs as ambassadors.

The President had, on January 4, forwarded the names of the service chiefs – who resigned on January 26 – as nominees to the Senate as non-career ambassadors-designate.

But the PDP, in a statement, said it was a decoy to shield the immediate past service chiefs “from investigation over alleged killing of innocent Nigerians and crimes against humanity under their inglorious watch.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Pledges Support For New AU Chairman, Felix Tshisekedi

“It is indeed sacrilegious and a horrible assault on the sensibility of Nigerians that the @OfficialAPCNg government is seeking to use ambassadorial appointments as desperate measure to secure diplomatic immunity for the former commanders and protect them from investigation arrest and possible prosecution by the @IntlCrimCourt for the atrocities committed against innocent Nigerians under their command,” the PDP statement added.

In a statement released on Saturday, Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said such an appointment was “normal in decent democratic societies.”

 

Read Mr. Shehu’s full response to the PDP below:

 

PDP SHOULD STOP DEFAMING PRESIDENT BUHARI’S FORMER SERVICE CHIEFS

The Presidency wishes to dismiss the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) attack over the widely praised nomination of the former heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Military Intelligence to the Senate for confirmation as non-career ambassadors.

This transition is normal in decent democratic societies.

But the newspapers and online media are full of pages of laughable criticisms of the President and former Service Chiefs by the party, the latest of which was the false claim that they were nominated as ambassadors so as to shield them from trial by the International Criminal Court, ICC.
How on earth can decent people run down hardworking professionals who have put in their best to defend their country? How can you run down your country and equate that with normal political dialogue and opposition?

What is baffling about this false and baseless assertion is that this is coming, not from Boko Haram terrorists who the military kept largely in check and confined to a known section of the country, Sambisa, but from a so-called leading opposition party that fraudulently kept power for 16 years and is nursing the hope of one day returning to office as an elected government.

What is more, under these corrupt politicians the insurgency conquered large swathes of territory-18 Local Government Areas.

Pray, if a political party, in a blind search for power can spurn the interest of the nation, embrace the language of hate campaign against the country’s military as enunciated by the terrorists, as the PDP does, what will be left for the Boko Haram to do? PDP is doing Boko Haram’s work!

We live in an evidence-based era for arguments. If the PDP has evidence of rights abuse against the military in the war against terrorists, wouldn’t it be beneficial to the nation that they publish such evidence instead of levying grave accusations without proves? And to ask, in whose interest are they making these accusations that lack any depth?

To add, we don’t think the ICC, which these childish calls are being made needs to be lectured on democratic values and human rights by the PDP. Who are they, and what is their record in office to lecture anyone? Zaki Biam and Odi where thousands of citizens were on record, the genocide operation comes to mind. Did they report themselves to the ICC?

PDP’s attacks on the ambassadorial nominations should be seen in the context of the opposition party’s track record as a university of liars, whose modus operandi is to propagate lies.

The President is rewarding hard work and exceptional sacrifice by a set of military leaders who gave their best to the nation and will be remembered, sooner than later, for their contributions to the security and survival of Nigeria as one nation. They should be allowed to move to the next level.

This is so that their examples will help to inspire others if given the opportunity to serve.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

February 6, 2021

UPDATED: Buhari Nominates Olonisakin, Other Ex-Service Chiefs As Ambassadors

A file photo of the immediate past service chiefs ahead of a Security Council meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated the immediate past service chiefs of the nation as ambassadors.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

They are former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, the former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, and the former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas.

Others are former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the former Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman.

Adesina revealed that President Buhari has forwarded the names of the nominees to the Senate as non-career ambassadors-designate.

In a letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the President was quoted as saying “In accordance with section 171 (1), (2) (c) & sub-section (4) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under-listed five (5) names of nominees as Non-Career Ambassadors-Designate.”

President Buhari appealed to the Senate to give expeditious consideration to the nominations.

The former service chiefs were appointed as non-career ambassadors-designate a week after their replacement with new officers.

They were said to have tendered their resignation from their positions amid heightened calls that they should be sacked due to the disturbing rate of insecurity in the country.

The new service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor – Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru – Chief of Army Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo – Chief of Naval Staff, and Air-Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao – Chief of Air Staff.

Read the full statement by Adesina below:

STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

PRESIDENT BUHARI NOMINATES OLONISAKIN, BURATAI, IBAS, ABUBAKAR, USMAN AS NON-CAREER AMBASSADORS

President Muhammadu Buhari has forwarded the names of the immediate past Service Chiefs to the Senate as non-career Ambassadors-Designate.

In a letter to Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, President of the Senate, the President said: “In accordance with section 171 (1), (2) (c) & sub-section (4) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under-listed five (5) names of nominees as Non-Career Ambassadors-Designate.”

The nominees are: Gen Abayomi G. Olonisakin (Rtd ), Lt Gen Tukur Y. Buratai (Rtd), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (Rtd), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Rtd), and Air Vice Marshal Mohammed S. Usman (Rtd).

The President urged the Senate to give expeditious consideration to the nominations.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media and Publicity)

February 4, 2021