Senate Confirms Appointment Of Service Chiefs

The Senate, on Thursday, confirmed the nomination of service chiefs newly appointed by President Bola Tinubu.

This followed the screening of the top brass by the upper chamber.

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Senate President Godswill Akpabio said during the closed-door session, the service chiefs answered questions on defence-related matters and topical issues.

The President had in a letter read on Monday on the floor of the Senate requested that the red chamber confirm the service chiefs.

The Senate, upon resumption of plenary on Thursday, started the screening of the service chiefs, with each of them mounting the podium to speak on how they will tackle insecurity in the country if confirmed.

The service chiefs confirmed are Maj. Gen. C.G Musa (Chief of Defence Staff), Maj. Gen. T. A Lagbaja (Chief of Army Staff), Rear Admiral E. A Ogalla (Chief of Naval Staff), and AVM H.B Abubakar (Chief of Air Staff).

During the screening, the service chiefs briefly introduced themselves to the Senators.

The defence chief was the first to speak. He said members of the Armed Forces under his watch will work tirelessly to safeguard the country.

He said members of the Armed Forces will continue to serve Nigerians dutifully.

The Army chief was the second to mount the podium. He said Nigeria has gone through challenging security situations which have impacted on the economy and entire fabric of the society.

He said insecurity has distorted the development plan of Nigeria, saying that he will bring fresh proactive, adaptive and inclusive skills onboard to stop the ugly trend.

The Army chief said if confirmed by the Senate, he will do his best to justify the confidence of the President in him.

On his part, the Naval chief said the Nigerian Navy will enhance monitoring and surveillance to ensure its operations are effective.

He promised to improve on the strategies used in the past, develop new strategies, build on inter-agency cooperation to fight oil theft.

For the Air chief, additional air power will be adopted to diminish threats to the country. He said his ultimate focus will be on air fighting capabilities.


On June 19, 2023, exactly three weeks after his inauguration, Tinubu removed all service chiefs in Nigeria and appointed new ones whom he directed to resume with immediate effect.

Those affected in the unprecedented shakeup include Alkali Usman who was removed as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Lucky Irabor, sacked as the Chief of Defence Staff; Faruk Yahaya, retired as the Chief of Army Staff; Awwal Gambo, removed as the Chief of Naval Staff; and Isiaka Amao, retired as Chief of Air Staff.

The President subsequently appointed new service chiefs and named a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, as his new National Security Adviser (NSA). Ribadu replaced Babagana Monguno as the nation’s NSA.

Tinubu also appointed Adeniyi Adewale as the Acting Comptroller General of Customs.

All the new appointees have since resumed in acting capacity before their confirmation by the National Assembly.

High Expectations

The move by the President followed persistent calls by civil society organisations that the security architecture be rejigged and fresh hands allowed to handle the nation’s security apparatus.

Between May 2015 and May 2023, verifiable data showed that over 55,000 Nigerians were killed by terrorists, bandits, and armed gangs during the administration of immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari. The former military head of state was criticised by many over the alarming killings in the country under his watch.

During his inauguration speech, Tinubu, who took over from Buhari, his fellow party man on May 29, 2023, promised to “defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country”, adding that “to effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security doctrine and its architecture”.

With the confirmation of the service chiefs, Nigerians expect a safe country and noticeable reduction in the rate of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism and other crimes ubiquitous across the Federation.


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