President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday extended the tenure of the country’s Service Chiefs.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the spokesman for for Defence Minister, Mansur Dan-Ali, Col. Tukur Gusau.
Those affected by the extension are the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas and Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar.
Buhari, Gusau said, used the powers conferred him under Section 218 (l) and (2) of the Constitution and Section 09.06 of the revised Harmonised Terms and Conditions for Service for officers (2012) to extend their stay in office.
Gusau said: “President Muhammadu Buhari, having carefully reviewed the on-going military operations across the nation and the efforts of the CDS and service chiefs in the counter insurgency operations in the Northeast coupled with the security situation of the Niger Delta region, has graciously approved the extension of tenure of service of the CDS, Gen. Olonisakin, the COAS, Lt.-Gen. Buratai, the CNS, Vice Admiral lbas and the CAS, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar.
“This extension is pursuant of the powers conferred on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by Section 218 (l) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 09.06 of the Harmonised Terms and Conditions for Service for officers (2012) Revised.
“The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali therefore congratulate the CDS and Service Chiefs for earning the confidence of the President and the people of Nigeria leading to their extension of service.”
With the extension, Olonisakin and the three others, who were appointed on July 13, 2015, have broken the jinx of not more than two-year tenures for service chiefs.
The norm had always been for service chiefs to serve a maximum of two years, after which the President would send names to the National Assembly for approval.
Olonisakin was the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command of the Nigerian Army (TRADOC) before his elevation to CDS.
The Ekiti State born General, a member of the 26th Regular Course, was said to have won Buhari’s heart for the position as a result of his unblemished record in the army as well as his prudent lifestyle.
Buratai took over the baton from Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, under whose administration he served as the Commander, Multinational Joint Taskforce.
A member of the 29th Regular Course, Buratai, who was commissioned into the Nigerian Army as an Infantry Corps in December 1983, rose through the ranks and held several command and administrative positions in the army.
Vice Admiral Ibas, a native of Cross River State, was enlisted into the Nigerian military in 1979 and commissioned a Sub-Lieutenant in 1983. He was the Chief
Executive Officer of Navy Holdings Limited before his appointment as CNS.
An outstanding officer, Ibas distinguished himself when he headed the Western Naval Command (WNC) of the Nigerian Navy and exterminated pirates, sea robbers within western waters.
His tenure as the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) WNC, saw a drastic decline in pipeline vandalism, vessel hijack and other illegality within western waters.
Under his watch, massive infrastructural upgrade were undertaken both at the barracks and WNC headquarters.
According to his peers, Ibas’ no-nonsense stance earned him the nickname ‘assasin’.
He has also served as Naval Provost Marshal, Chief of Administration and Chief of Logistics, Naval Headquarters, Chief Staff Officer of Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) among others.
Air Marshal Abubakar Air Marshal has a Diploma in Public Administration, a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in political science, Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Strategic Studies and a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) Helicopters with Instrument Rating.
Before his appointment as the CAS, Abubakar was Chief of Administration, NAF headquarters. He also served as Chief of Defence Communications, Air Officer Commanding, NAF Training Command and Chief of Standards and Evaluation, NAF Headquarters.