President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the tenures of all service chiefs: Abayomi Olonisakin, Chief of Defence Staff; Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff; Ibok Ete-Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff and Sadique Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff.
According to a statement issued by Tukur Gusau, spokesman of the Minister of Defence, “the extension is pursuant to the powers conferred on the President and Commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by section 218(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution”.
The statement added that Buhari approved the tenure extension after “having carefully reviewed the ongoing military operations across the country and the efforts of the service chiefs in the counter-insurgency operations in the North East coupled with the security situation of the Niger Delta region”.
The current service chiefs were appointed on July 13, 2015. According to the rules of the armed forces, the tenure of service chiefs is two years, after which the President could extend it provided the affected officer has not attained the mandatory retirement age of 60.
Earlier in July, Buhari, who at the time was receiving medical treatment in London, approved the extension of the tenures of the service chiefs until December.
The trio of Olonisakin, Abubakar and Ete-Ibas are long overdue for retirement going by their year of service and their age, but Buhari approved an extension of their tenures.
Buratai, on the other hand, being a member of Course 29 in the Nigerian Army, has not attained the retirement age or maximum length of service yet.
It is not clear for how long this current extension will last.