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Unveiling new security chiefs

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has retired all service chiefs and appointed new ones. The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, was also replaced. Tinubu equally renamed…

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has retired all service chiefs and appointed new ones.

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, was also replaced.

Tinubu equally renamed Nuhu Ribadu as National Security Adviser (NSA). He was last week named Special Adviser on Security Matters to the president.

The appointments were contained in a statement signed by Willie Bassey, Director, Information in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali, was also replaced.

A former Theatre Commander Operation Hadin Kai, Maj.-Gen. C.G. Musa (Kaduna, North West) has replaced Gen. Lucky Irabor as the Chief of Defence Staff while Maj.-Gen. T. A. Lagbaja (Osun, South West) replaces Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff.

In the same vein, Air Vice Marshal H. B. Abubakar (Kano, North West) replaces Air Marshal Oladayo Amao as Chief of Air Staff, while Rear Admiral E. A. Ogalla (Enugu, South East) replaces Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo as the Chief of Naval Staff.

The president noted that Maj.-Gen. EPA Undiandeye has also been appointed as the Chief of Defence Intelligence. He replaces Maj.-Gen. S. A. Adebayo.

Similarly, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police representing South West zone in the police management team, Kayode Egbetokun, was also appointed to replace IGP Usman Baba in acting capacity, while Adeniyi Adewale has been appointed as the Acting Comptroller General of Customs.

The statement said the appointed Service Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police and the Comptroller General of Customs are to act in their positions pending their confirmation in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

Other appointments

President Tinubu also approved the appointment of Col. Adebisi Onasanya as the Brigade of Guards Commander; Lt. Col. Moshood Abiodun Yusuf as Commander 7 Guards Battalion, Asokoro, Abuja and Lt. Col. Auwalu Baba Inuwa, 177, Guards Battalion, Keffi, Nasarawa State.

Others include: Lt. Col. Mohammed J. Abdulkarim 102 Guards Battalion, Suleja, Niger and Lt. Col. Olumide A. Akingbesote 176 Guards Battalion, Gwagwalada, Abuja.

Similarly, the president approved the appointments of other military officers in the Presidential Villa.

They are: Maj. Isa Farouk Audu (N/14695) Commanding Officer State House Artillery; Capt. Kazeem Olalekan Sunmonu (N/16183) Second-in-Command, State House Artillery; Maj. Kamaru Koyejo Hamzat (N/14656) Commanding Officer, State House Military Intelligence; Maj. TS Adeola (N/12860) Commanding Officer, State House Armament, and Lt. A. Aminu (N/18578) Second-in- Command, State House Armament. 

Hadiza Bala, Hannatu Musawa appointed  SAs 

Tinubu also approved the appointments of two allies of the immediate past governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, as additional special advisers as well as two senior special assistants.

They are Hadiza Bala Usman as Special Adviser, Policy Coordination; Hannatu Musa Musawa as Special Adviser, Culture and Entertainment Economy; Sen. Abdullahi Abubakar Gumel, Senior Special Assistant, National Assembly Matters (Senate) and Hon. (Barr) Olarewaju Kunle Ibrahim, Senior Special Assistant, National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives). 

Ex-JTF Commander in North East takes over from Irabor

Maj.-Gen. Christopher Gwabin Musa, a member of Course 38 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy who was born in Sokoto State, North West, on December 25, 1967, is expected to take over from Gen. Lucky Irabor.

Musa attended primary and secondary in Sokoto, although he is originally from Zangon Kataf LGA Southern of Kaduna.

The senior military officer was admitted into the NDA in 1986 where he underwent military training for five years at a time the military held political power in the country.

In September 1991, he was commissioned into the Nigerian Army as a second lieutenant in the Infantry Corps, one of the most difficult sections of the army.

Until his new appointment, in 2021, he was redeployed to be the Commander, Joint Task Force (North East), Operation Hadin Kai. 

Meet the new army chief

Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja was admitted into the Nigerian Defence Academy on September 12, 1987, as a member of the 39th Regular Course. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on September 19, 1992, into the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps.

Born in Ilobu, Irepodun Local Government Area, Osun State on February 28, 1968, he had earlier attended Local Authority Teachers College Demonstration School Osogbo between 1973 – 1979 and attended St Charles Grammar School, Osogbo from 1979 – 1984.

He subsequently attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan from 1984 to 1986 and obtained a West African School Certificate (Advanced Level).

Until his new appointment, he was the GOC, Headquarters 1 Division. 

The new Chief of Air Staff

Air Vice Marshal Hassan Bala Abubakar was born on September 11, 1970. He hails from Shanono Local Government Area of Kano State. He enlisted into the NAF as a member of NDA Regular Course 39 and was commissioned a Pilot Officer on September 19, 1992.

The senior officer holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the NDA. He underwent basic Flying Training Courses at the 301 Flying Training School Kaduna. He also had basic and Advance Airborne Courses at Nigerian Army Infantry Center and School Jaji.

Before his new appointment as the CAS, he held several positions some of which are: Admin Officer 16 Engineering Wing, 1 Engineering Group NAF Makurdi and Officer Commanding Admin Services Flight/Group Public Relations Officer, 97 Special Operations Group NAF Port Harcourt.

Others are Officer Commanding Yellow Squadron – Air Force Military School Jos; Admin Officer Primary Flying Training Wing – 301 FTS NAF Kaduna; SO1 Admin 301 FTS NAF Kaduna; Officer Commanding ‘B’ Squadron (Do 228) – 81 Air Maritime Group NAF Benin and Team Leader MILOB Team Site 615 Mahagi (Ituri Brigade) MONUC.

He was also at a time Aviation Planning Officer, MONUC Air Operations Kinshasa, DRC and Commanding Officer of Base Services Wing 81 Air Maritime Group Nigerian Air Force Benin and Operations Officer Operational Conversion Unit 88 Military Airlift group Nigerian Air Force Lagos. 

Ogalla to man maritime domain

The new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, has been appointed to replace Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo after his two years in the office.

Ogalla hails from Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State. His LGA borders Kogi State and Benue State. 

Mathematician-turned-police to lead internal security in an acting capacity

Born on September 4, 1964, in Erinja, Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, Egbetokun bagged a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from the University of Lagos. Before he joined the Nigeria Police Force, he had also lectured mathematics briefly at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.

He also earned a Master of Science Degree in Engineering Analysis, a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Petroleum Economics from Delta State University, and an MBA from Lagos State University.

Egbetokun was enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force on March 3, 1990, as a Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police in Course 16. He was the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to Tinubu when the latter became Lagos State Governor in 1999.

The acting IGP has held several commands and units. He was Commander of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in Lagos from 2005 to 2007, Squadron Commander of the 5 PMF in Benin City, Officer-in-Charge of Anti-Fraud in the FCT Command, Area Commander in Osogbo, Osun State, Area Commander in Gusau, Zamfara State, Commandant of the Police Training School in Ikeja, Lagos and Deputy Commandant of the Police College in Ikeja.

He was also CP Servicom at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, CP Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), and CP of Kwara State Police Command.

Egbetokun also served as the Assistant Inspector-General in charge of Zone 7 Abuja, overseeing Niger Police Command and the FCT Command.

Until his latest appointment, he was DIG representing South West zone in the police management team. 

Over 20 senior military officers to exit service

The new appointments would most likely affect over 20 senior military officers who would exit the service in line with the tradition and customs of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Ideally, military officers of the same Regular Course with the new defence chief, who is a member of Course 38, are not expected to serve under him unless he suggests otherwise.

Checks by Daily Trust last night showed that there are still some members of Regular Course 37 in the service, suggesting that they will all exit the service immediately after Musa takes over. However, there was no official comment on this at the time of filing this report. 

What new appointments mean for Nigeria’s security – Expert

Commenting on the development last night, a security and intelligence expert, Kabiru Adamu, described the appointment as balanced.

Adamu advised Tinubu to go further and ensure the full implementation of security sector reform and security sector governance.

He said, “The choice of individuals that have been appointed by President Tinubu including the newly appointed service chiefs have glorious antecedents including field experience in security challenged locations such as Kaduna and Borno.

“This means they know and understand the security challenges in the country. There is fairness in the appointment reflecting federal character.

“There are other positions in the security sector that are yet to be appointed, so hopefully, there would be gender balance considering that there is no woman on the list.

“For synergy to be achieved in the security sector, the president has to go further and ensure the full implementation of security sector reform and security sector governance.

“This will allow a fully transparent and democratized security sector, and for accountability and monitoring and evaluation to be introduced effectively and efficiently.”


By Idowu Isamotu & Abass Jimoh

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