Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina has revealed why his principal decided to fire service chiefs.
Affected in the decision taken yesterday, a demand made by Nigerians since 2017 are: Chief of Defence Chief, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
They were replaced by: Major-General Leo Irabor as the CDS, Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru as the army chief, Rear Admiral A. Z. Gambo as the naval chief and Air-Vice Marshal I. O. Amao, as the new air chief.
The calls for their ousting began in 2017. Critics including the Nigerian Senate which has made the call thrice; Northern Elders Forum (NEF); state governors; the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) among others were also at the forefront demanding their sack.
The presidency has severally defended the stay of the security chiefs most of whom have outlived their tenures saying the president cannot be compelled to sack them until he so wishes. In his new year broadcast to Nigerians, the president promised to rejig the security architecture to tackle worsening insecurity.
Commenting on the development, the presidential spokesman said his principal decided to fire and replace the service chiefs because he decided to have fresh energy, fresh blood and fresh ideas.
Adesina added that the replacement does not translate his principal is dissatisfied with their performances.
“The fact that they (the service chiefs) had to leave today does not mean that they have failed,” he said on Channels Television yesterday.
“The president in the statement we issued also commended the outgoing service chiefs for their contributions in engendering a safer country.
“That shows that by and large, he was satisfied with their performances and he just felt it was time to rejig the system, have fresh energy, fresh blood and fresh ideas.
“The president did what he feels is right at a given time. A number of times, he has said the service chiefs could do better. It is just the time to have fresh energy and fresh ideas in the theatre of battles where the military is involved. It is just a matter of doing what is best for the country at the best time,” Adesina added.