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PROFILE: Meet Buhari’s new service chiefs




ON Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari announced the acceptance letters of resignation of his service chiefs after he ignored pleas and calls by both chambers of the national assembly, the Nigeria governors’ forum, social-cultural organisations, and well-meaning Nigerians that they should be sacked owing to the growing insecurity in the country. terrorism

Buhari immediately announced Lucky Irabor, Ibrahim Attahiru, Awwal Gambo and Isiaka Amao as replacements for Gabriel Olonisakin, Tukur Buratai, Ibok Ekwe Ibas, Sadique Abubakar as chiefs of defence, army, navy and air force, respectively.

The ICIR profiles the new service chiefs in this report.

Lucky Irabor

Major General Lucky Irabor, the 55-years old newly appointed chief of defence, was born in Delta state in 1965. He gained admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna as a 34 regular course member in 1983. He was commissioned a second lieutenant on 28 June 1986 into the signals corps of the Nigerian Army.

He was trained at the armed forces command and staff college (AFCSC) for his junior staff course in 1995 and Ghana Armed Forces Staff College, Teshi, Accra Ghana for senior staff course in 2000/2001, amongst other several military courses. Also, he attended National Defence College in Bangladesh in 2010 and Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the USA in 2012 and 2017 respectively. Irabor, who holds two Masters Degrees from both University of Ghana, Accra and Bangladesh University of Professionals, Dhaka, also graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University  (OAU), as a trained engineer.

In its bid to confront Boko Haram’s activities in the Northeast, the military-appointed Irabor as the theatre commander of operation Lafiya Dole in 2016. As theatre commander, he was responsible for the capture of Alargano forest –the acclaimed spiritual base of Boko Haram. He also planned and executed the conduct of operations Crackdown 1 and 2, Rescue Finale and Deep Punch, which led to the clearance of Sambisa forest, destruction of terrorists camps and enclaves, the capture of several weapons, vehicles and equipment belonging to the group as well as rescued well over 20,000 civilians abducted by BHT, including 2 Chibok Girls. Furthermore, the impact of the operations he conducted forced the BHT to release a total of 103 Chibok Girls in two instances.

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Shortly after the end of his tenure in the theatre, he was appointed as the head and field commander of the multinational joint task force (MNJTF), where he planned and conducted Operation Amni Fakat within the Lake Chad Basin area, which led to the clearance and domination of Gashigar, Arege and Metele as well the destruction of several terrorists’ camps and IED making factories in the basin. The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) is a combined multinational formation, comprising units, mostly military, from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. It is headquartered in N’Djamena and is mandated to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency. As Force Commander MNJTF, he successfully planned

Until he was appointed Nigerian chief of defence, Irabor was the force commander of training and doctrine command (TRADOC), Minna.

Read Also: Appointment of new service chiefs not enough, Buhari must show leadership -NEF

Ibrahim Attahiru

Ibrahim Attahiru from Kaduna state was born on August 10, 1966. Until he was appointed chief army staff, he was the general officer commanding (GOC) of the army’s 82 division in Enugu. He was fired as the theatre commander leading the war against the sects in 2017 for failing to deliver a marching order by Tukur Buratai, the immediate chief of army staff, to capture dead or alive within 40 days, Abubakar Shekau.

Isiaka Oladayo Amao

The Osun state born Air Vice Marshal was born on 14 Sep 65 at Enugu. He got enlisted into the Nigerian Airforce on 19 Jan 1984 as a NDA regular course 35 member and was commissioned as a pilot officer on 20 December 1986.

Amao, who has served in various NAF units, was actively involved in the ongoing prosecution of the war against terror in the Northeast as a fighter pilot of Operation Lafiya Dole from 19 Jul 2015 to 16 February 2016.

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He also holds a master’s degree in defence and strategic studies from the University of Madras, India, and master of Military Science and Strategy (MMSc) and an advanced diploma in defence and strategic studies from NDU, China. He also has a post-graduate diploma in international relations and diplomacy from Kaduna Polytechnic. 

Until he was appointed air chief, Amao was air officer commanding, tactical air command (TAC).

Awwal Gambo

Born on 22 April 1966 and hails from Nasarawa LGA in Kano State, Awwal Gambo enlisted into the Nigerian Navy on September 24, 1984, as a member of regular course 36 and was commissioned sub-lieutenant on 24 September 1988.

He is an underwater warfare specialist with a sub-specialisation in Intelligence. He has attended several military courses, including a sub-technical course and officers long course at NNS QUORRA, Lagos. He also attended Junior Division 48/89 and Senior Course 26, both at AFCSC Jaji. Other courses attended include the national defence course at the South African National Defence College.

Gambo holds a Master’s degree in transport management from LAUTECH.

Until he was appointed the chief of naval staff, he was the procurement director at the defence space administration.

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