To address the perceived administrative and operational gaps in the Military Sector, the federal government on Monday in Abuja inaugurated a committee to facilitate the Reforms of the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
The Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi inaugurated the Committee with a mandate to ensure the military must be refined and clearly defined in compliance with the current globally acceptable 21st century standards.
A press release by Mohammad Abdulkadri, Special Assistant to the Minister of Defence, Media and Publicity, said the Committee was also given a 10 – point Terms of Reference as contained in the Convening Order.
He said that the Minister further tasked the Committee under the chairmanship of Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Ndatsu Umaru (rtd) to see their assignment as patriotic calls to National service and the need to play their roles in defence of the country’s territorial integrity against the infractions of the insurgents, bandits and kidnappers .
“He said the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces President Muhammadu Buhari is optimistic that the recommendations of the Committee at the end of their assignment will drive his campaign promise to return the Military to its rightful place of global reckoning.
“In his opening remark the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence Musa Istifanus described the composition of the membership of the Committee which has Air Commodore DE Abdullahi (rtd) as Secretary as carefully selected and balanced to meet national representation and aspirations capable of delivering on their mandates.
“In his inaugural remark the Chairman of the committee Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Ndatsu Umaru (rtd) assured the Minister of Defence that members will bring their huge experiences and expertise to bear in the discharge of their assigned task .
“AVM Umar said team work, dedication and commitment will be their watchwords within the ambit of national realities. “Members of the reform Committee include Former Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, Lt Gen Chikadibia Isasc Obiakor rtd, former Assistant Secretary General Office of Military Affairs UN department of Peacekeeping Operation New York, Alhaji Goni Aji former Head of Service, Rear Admiral A G Adedeji (rtd), Maj Gen A M Jibril (rtd) and Rear Admirals F D Akpan, Special Adviser Technical to the Minister of Defence Maj Gen Ahmed Tijani Jibrin (rtd), Rear J A Ajani (rtd).
“Also in the Committee are Brigadier General J N Temlong, Group Captain S G Shehu (rtd), Maj Gen O F Azinta as representative of the Chief of Defence Staff,(CDS), Maj Gen Charles Ofoche representative of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Rear Admiral O E Eyo for Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and AVM I O Ojeyemi as the representative of the Chief of Air Staff (CAS).
“Also in the Committee are Professor A S Nwakwo, former Provost of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Director Joint Services (JSD) Mrs O. M. Mustapha and Director Reforms Mrs Ochida Ahubi Suzan as representatives of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Former Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Defence who made the list include Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila, and Ambassador Danjuma Sheni.”