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What You Need To Know About The New Service Chiefs


On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari accepted the resignation and retirement of the country’s service chiefs and spared little time in appointing new heads as the government intensifies efforts to combat insecurity.

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The news of the appointment of new service chiefs was greeted with applause from most Nigerians that have since been calling for the replacement of the ex-service chiefs.

Here are things you need to know about Nigeria’s new service chiefs.

Major General Ibrahim Attahiru – Chief of Army Staff

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Filling the shoes of his former boss, Tukur Buratai, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru who hails from Kaduna State was born on August 10, 1966.

In 2017, he was appointed by the former Chief of Army Staff to lead the frontlines in the fight against Boko Haram and was charged to ensure the leader of the deadly sect was captured within 40 days. His inability to meet Buratai’s demands meant he would be redeployed and replaced with General Nicholas Rogers.

Before his appointment on Tuesday, Major-General Attahiru headed the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army.

Major-General Leo Irabor – Chief of Defence Staff

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Major-General Leo Irabor replaced General Abayomi Olonisakin as the country’s new Chief of Defence Staff. A member of the Regular Course 39 of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA).

Irabor who is a trained engineer served as the Commander of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, TRADOC, headquartered in Minna, Niger State, and is charged with the responsibility of doctrinal training, combat development, and supervision of training centres.

The military chieftain who at one point served as Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, and Field Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), was also functional as the Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP) Defence Headquarters. Born on October 5, 1965, Irabor is a native of Ika South in Delta State.

Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo – Chief of Naval Staff

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A native of Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano State, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo was born on April 22, 1966. Rear Admiral Gambo who commands a lot of experience in the naval space was enlisted into the country’s Naval forces on September 24, 1984, as a member of Regular Course 36 and would go on to be commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant on September 24, 1988.

An underwater Warfare specialist with sub-specialisation in Intelligence, Gambo before his appointment on Tuesday worked at the Defence Space Administration as Director of Procurement.

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His trainings include Sub-Technical course and Officers Long course at the NNS QUORRA. Aside from attending Junior Division 48/89 and Senior Course 26 at AFCSC Jaji, Rear Admiral Gambo also received training in National Defence Course at the South African National Defence College.

Air Vice-Marshal Isiaka Amao – Chief of Air Staff

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Born in Enugu State on September 14, 1965, Nigeria’s new Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao hails from Osogbo in Osun State. Amao was enlisted into the country’s Air Force as member of the 35 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy on January 19, 1984.

Until his appointment on Tuesday, he was the Commandant Armed Forces Resettlement Centre in Lagos State and commands a huge experience in the Nigerian air space.

His wealth of experience include serving from 1993-2004 as Trainee/Squadron Pilot, NAF Unit 99 ACTG Kainji, Instructor Pilot/Squadron Pilot, 301 FTS Kaduna from 2004-2007, the Chief of Air Staff’s Air Assistant, Deputy Defence Adviser, Nigerian High Commission London, Defence Headquarters’ Assistant Director of Operation, and the Director of Policy and Plans for the Nigerian Air Force.

His list of military courses attended include:

  • Junior Division Course (Armed Forces Command Staff College, AFCSC, Jaji)
  • Senior Division Course (Defence Services Staff College India)
  • Defence Course (National Defence University China)
  • Aircraft Accident Investigation in Civil Airline (NCAT Zaria)
  • Aircraft Accident Investigation Course (Karachi, Pakistan)





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Chidozie Prince Ahaneku

I am a poet. I am a moderate thinker who abhors radicalism on every front and believes that most things are relative. I am a social and political critic. I love writing, reading and international politics.

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