From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday approved the appointment of new Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Naval Staff, while Chief of Army Staff retained his position.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the new Chief of Defence Staff is Vice Admiral Ola Ibrahim from Kwara State. Until his appointment, he was the Chief of Naval Staff. He replaced Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin who retired from office after 35 years in service. The new Chief of Naval Staff is Rear Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba from Delta. The new Chief of Air Staff is Air Vice Marshall Alex Sabundu Badeh from Adamawa.
The incumbent Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. O.A. Azubuike Ihejirika hails from Abia retained his position. President Jonathan thanked the outgoing service chiefs for their meritorious and commendable service to the nation and wished them well in their future endeavours. In the past few weeks, speculations had been on, as to who takes over from the current service chiefs who had been in office for two years now.
Among those suggested to have been penciled down for the post of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) were Major-General Lawrence Ngubane, Major-General JA Okunbor, Major-General MD Abubakar and Major-General Sarkin Yaki Bello, Head of Counter Terrorism, office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). Ihejirika was already being rumoured to be the next Chief of Defence before the appointment yesterday.