Reps confirm new service chiefs

The House of Representatives at the Tuesday plenary confirmed the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor as Chief of Defence Staff in accordance with the provisions of the Armed Forces Act.

The House resolution was passed after the consideration of the report of the Special Committee which screened the four nominees.

The Service Chiefs namely Major General Lucky Eluonye Onyenuchea Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

Speaking on the report, Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Hon Babajimi Benson who laid the report before the House, recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter dated February 10, 2021, urged the House to confirm the officers in line with the Armed Forces Act.

According to him, the House had on February 17, 2021, set up a Joint Committee made up of members from security-related committees of the house to screen the officers.

He said: “We invited the nominees and we question them on various topics ranging from Integrity, professional experience, the role of the military, inter-agency cooperation, leadership style, communication skill, welfare, military/civilian among others and we found them worthy.”

When the Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila put the question, all the members through the voice vote endorsed their confirmation.

Speaking exclusively with Tribune Online, Chairman, House Committee on Navy, Hon Yusuf Gagdi expressed optimism that the new Service Chiefs will do things differently.

“It is my sincere hope that we will see things differently from the different people that are brought on board by Mr President. I’m sure we may not have any reason to they should not be confirmed, I’m not pre-empting the outcome of the Parliament, but I’m saying that these are new people, they have not performed, so what do you have against
them to say they should not be confirmed?

“The only thing you will do is just like they put the Nigerian situation in place of prayer, you will continue to put those Service Chiefs designate in prayer. I want to believe from their background as put together to you during the opening session and some of the technical engagements we have had with them, I’m very optimistic that we will get something good from them. But again, I will join any other Nigerian to put them in place of prayers to perform.”

Hon Gadgi who pledged the Committee’s support for the new Chief of Naval Staff observed that the Nigerian Navy plays a significant role in the country’s economic development.

“Strategically the economy of the nation is what is important to the nation and without the security of the waterways, the economy will continue to depreciate, the crude oil production as a result of piracy, vandalisation of oil pipelines and what have you, will continue to depreciate.

“So if I will be allowed to sound immodest to people that don’t want to understand me, the Navy is one of the critical armed Force Service that should be considered and make sure all the necessary platforms are being provided to them. And aside from that, the Navy is equally engaged in various Theaters that is going on in Nigeria even in Maiduguri for instance, it was the Navy that cleared the front, the Navy unit in Maiduguri cleared before the land Army strike.

“So when they say Navy, people think the Navy is limited to water operation, many people don’t know that even in the land operation in the internal security, that only the Army and Air Force that are doing it, Navy is equally contributing maximally to ensure the insecurity is brought to the barest minimum. And by the special grace of God, the Committee and indeed the National Assembly will give Navy the necessary support for them to discharge their constitutional role,” Hon Gadgi said.

He also expressed optimism that the newly appointed Service Chiefs, will address issue bothering on internal wrangling within the security agencies, noting that there exists a cordial relationship among the new Service Chiefs spanning through three decades.

“These Service Chiefs are friends from the Academy, except for the Chief of Naval Staff, even in the Service, both the Chief of Naval Staff and Army they have been friends and Chief of Defence Staff. So we don’t expect them to have issues.

“After all, the war against crime and criminality no individual is going to win a medal for it, it going to be a collective thing and if they succeed, it’s going to be the entire security architecture of this country that succeeds. So we don’t expect those personal differences to exist among the various Service Chiefs.”

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Reps confirm new service chiefs

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Reps confirm new service chiefs

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