New CDS, Service Chiefs hit the ground running as Nigerians express optimism

CHUKS OYEMA-AZIKEN writes that the new Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General LEO Irabor and the service chiefs stormed Maiduguri for a first hand information on situation in the North-East.

The newly appointed service chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General LEO Irabor on Sunday stormed the epicenter of terrorism in Nigeria, Maiduguri on Sunday.
The visit saw the military chiefs hold various meetings with major stakeholders and troops on ground.

For General Irabor and the COAS, Major-General Attahiru Ibrahim, it was a home coming as they had both served in Operation Lafiya Dole as Theatre Commanders.

For the new service chiefs, their job is well cut out, this was much acknowledged by the CDS during the visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in the Villa. 

According to the CDS “We are mindful of the demands and pledge to do the utmost best to bring safety and security to lives in the country. We are assuring the nation of peace and security. We believe that value will be added to the security disposition.

Similarly, addressing the troops in Maiduguri, Gen. Irabor said “Mr President, the Commander-in-Chief, sent his commendation to you. When we met with him, he charged us to let you know that your welfare is a top priority in government and to also let you know that issues bordering on equipment are what the government is working on in addition to those that have been procured and are on transit to Nigeria.

“Every Service Chief and I have made commitment that whatever is required for us to work as a team we would do.

“Well done, keep the spirit because that is precisely what it should be. We have no other choice but to meet the desires of our Commander-in-Chief.

“You will be seeing us very often, to let you know we are with you and to ensure that this operation comes to an end speedily,” he said.

Meanwhile, in bowing to call for appointment of new service chiefs, President Buhari during first meeting with them gave a mandate to end the war against insurgency and improve security across the nation.

He also asked them to look after the welfare of their officers so that they can deliver on the frontlines.

Media Adviser, Femi Adesina quoted Buhari as saying “Ensure they feel professionally and physically secure. In terms of equipment and other logistics, we are doing our best, and will do more.

“Give officers you can trust command, and support them. Respect seniority and intellectualism, but also use people who can deliver, those who show courage and leadership qualities.

“I trained in the United Kingdom, India, and United States of America. It was not because my superiors liked my face. They know what they saw in me.

“During the 30 months of our Civil War, I was virtually sentenced to the frontlines. Thank God nothing happened to me, not even a scratch. Competence, loyalty, courage, leadership must be rewarded with promotions.”

The resumption of office by the new military helmsmen came at a time Nigerians had given up hope on President Muhammadu Buhari touching the security apparatus.

Earlier, the National Assembly in a motion sponsored by Senator Ali Ndume at the Senate plenary on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, the Senate passed a resolution calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to fire the service chiefs.
Both chambers of the National Assembly, the Senate and House of Representatives, had in previous resolutions called on President Buhari to fire the chiefs. The latest call was triggered by the killing of rice farmers in Kantakari.
Thier resumption is also at a time the military has come under severe criticism.

However, the YORUBA Council of Elders (YCE) through its Secretary-General, Dr. Kunle Olajide, described it as a welcome development, saying that “The new appointees will bring new ideas into the Nigerian security sector.”

A stockbroker, Sola Oni, said insecurity, which worsened in recent times, has continued to remain a major setback to achieving the nation’s growth targets.

“News reports in Nigeria are replete with dastardly killings by Boko Harams, herdsmen among others. If the new service chiefs are able to tackle insecurity headlong, it will boost investors’ confidence in the stock market and attract Foreign Direct Investments Investment,” he said.

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