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Officers scramble for ‘juicy’ positions as major shake-up hits Military

Senior military officers within the Nigerian Army, Navy and Nigerian Air Force are currently jostling to occupy ‘lucrative’ positions following the confirmation of the newly…

Senior military officers within the Nigerian Army, Navy and Nigerian Air Force are currently jostling to occupy ‘lucrative’ positions following the confirmation of the newly appointed service chiefs by the Nigerian Senate, Daily Trust reports.

The latest development, which involves the senior officers intensifying efforts to lobby politicians and top government functionaries within the Presidency, according to impeccable sources, has polarised the three Services of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

A highly placed source confided in Daily Trust on Friday morning that the Director of Public Relations and Information of NAF, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, was earlier appointed the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP) before his name was changed.

Another reliable source, who told Daily Trust that lobbying politicians or government officials among senior military officers to get ‘juicy’ appointments was not strange, added that some military officers who accompanied Service Chiefs to the Villa Friday morning for their decoration used the opportunity to intensify their plans.

“For us in the Armed Forces of Nigeria, lobbying top government functionaries to get better office in the military not a new thing. Nobody would like to remain the same in his life. It has been the usual practice that these government officials are the ones to determine the position you will occupy as a senior military officer, so, don’t view it as something serious,” he said.

Shortly after the report of the appointment of new spokesman, Air Commodore Eddy Gabkwet, went viral in the media, Daramola issued a statement, confirming there was a major shake-up in the Nigerian Air Force.

He dismissed the report that he was appointed as COPP but confirmed Gabkwet would take over from him as the new spokesman of NAF.

According to him, the appointment of new Branch Chiefs, Air Officers Commanding (AOCs), Commandants of Tri-Service Institutions and other functionaries, including a new spokesperson, was part of efforts to reinvigorate the operational effectiveness of NAF.

He noted that the newly appointed and redeployed senior officers are expected to take over their new offices not later than Thursday, 11 March 2021.

The statement read, “As part of routine exercise aimed at re-invigorating operational effectiveness and enhancing service delivery, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has appointed new Branch Chiefs, Air Officers Commanding (AOCs), Commandants of Tri-Service Institutions and other functionaries, including a new Spokesperson.

“The newly appointed Branch Chiefs are Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Dahiru Sanda, who is now the Chief of Defence Policy and Plans (CDPP), Defence Headquarters (DHQ); AVM Remigus Ekeh, erstwhile Chief of Standards and Evaluation Headquarters NAF (HQ NAF), who is now appointed Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), HQ NAF; former AOC Mobility Command (MC), Yenagoa, AVM Ibukun Ojeyemi, is now appointed as the Chief of Air Intelligence (CAI), HQ NAF; while AVM Mahmud Madi has been appointed as the Air Secretary, HQ NAF”.

It added: “Also affected by the new appointments are AVM Mahmoud Ahmed, who is now the Chief of Defence Transformation and Innovation (CDTI), DHQ; AVM Cletus Udeagulu is now the Chief of Communication Information Systems (CCIS), HQ NAF while AVM Isah Muhammad is appointed Chief of Administration, (COA), HQ NAF; AVM Pam Chollom has been appointed as the Chief of Logistics (CLOG), HQ NAF, while the former AOC, Air Training Command (ATC), Kaduna, AVM Musa Mukhtar has been moved to HQ NAF as the Chief of Aircraft Engineering (CAcE).

“The immediate past AOC, Tactical Air Command (TAC), Makurdi, AVM Olusegun Philip is now Chief of Standards and Evaluation (COSE), HQ NAF.

“In the same vein, the erstwhile COPP, HQ NAF, AVM Mohammed Idris has been appointed Commandant, Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Oshodi; the former Director of Plans, HQ NAF, AVM Ebenezer Alade, has been appointed Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji; AVM Musibau Olatunji, erstwhile CAcE, now appointed as the Commandant Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Kaduna; while AVM Ibrahim Ali now takes over as the Commandant Air Force War College (AFWC), Makurdi.

“AVM Idi Lubo, former Director of Policy, has been appointed AOC TAC, Makurdi; AVM Jackson Yusuf is now the AOC ATC, Kaduna; AVM Aliyu Bello is now the AOC MC, Yenagoa; while AVM Sunday Makinde, former College Secretary, National Defence College (NDC), is now the AOC, Logistics Command (LC), Ikeja.

“AVM Frank Oparah is appointed as the AOC Ground Training Command, Enugu while AVM Peter Uzezi is now the Director General, Defence Research and Development Bureau, DHQ.

“Former Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), AVM Ibikunle Dramola has been appointed as the Director of Plans, HQ NAF; AVM Garba Abubakar is appointed as the new Group Managing Director, NAF Holding Company; AVM Emmanuel Wonah as the Coordinator Project Implementation Monitoring Team, HQ NAF; while former Commandant, AFCSC, AVM Abubakar Liman, is now the Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence, Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).

“AVM Mfon Ekpoh has been redeployed to the Nigerian Defence Academy as Deputy Commandant; while AVM Emmanuel Chukwu has been appointed as the College Secretary, NDC.

“Furthermore, AVM Abraham Adole is appointed as the Deputy Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE (OPLD); while Air Commodore (Air Cdre) Nnamdi Ananaba, takes over as the Air Component Commander OPLD.

“Also, Air Cdre Dauda Prayero has been appointed as the new Chairman Air Expo and International Liaison Secretariat while Air Cdre Olabode Babalola takes over as the Chief of Medical Services (CMS), HQ NAF and Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet has been appointed as the new NAF Spokesperson.”

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