Senior military officers have reportedly begun lobbying the President Bola Tinubu-led administration over the appointments of a new Chief of Defence Staff, Chief Of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, and the Chief of Air Staff.
Naija News reports that Nigeria’s current Service Chiefs include the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao.
According to Daily Sun, over 300 officers from the Army, Navy, and Airforce may be forced to retire from service, depending on the course from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), where Tinubu decided to pick from.
It was gathered that the current service chiefs have prepared their handing over notes while some have also started moving out of their official residence at Niger Barracks to enable their successors to move into their new homes.
The reports revealed that “the potential officers suitable for the jobs” are consulting and lobbying traditional rulers, spiritual fathers, politicians, contractors, family members, and friends of the president and other top government functionaries to achieve their ambitions.
Sources told Daily Sun that it was certain that the new Chief Of Army Staff would emerge from the South-West as no officer from that region has occupied that office after Lieutenant General Ipool Alani-Akinirade, over 40 years ago. What the South West got after many years was the position of the Chief of Defence Staff, occupied by the immediate past CDS, General Gabriel Olonisakin.
Already, there are four Major Generals from the South-West, including a General Officer Commanding (GOC), making the rounds as one of those to be appointed Chief of Army Staff. Of all the four names, one would be appointed Chief Of Army Staff.
It was also gathered that the new Chief of Naval Staff might come from the South-South as the president is bent on fighting oil thieves and ending illegal bunkering and other illicit businesses in the maritime domain. However, some of the names making the rounds include Rear Admirals from the North West.
The new Chief of Air Staff may likely come from the South East. This, it was gathered, is because the only officer qualified for that position in his course is a pilot and from South East.
The position of the Chief of Defence Staff may also go to the South West if the lobby by some of the officers from that part of the country is anything to go by.
Top military sources told Daily Sun that some officers from that region have taken their lobby to royal fathers from their states and other top personalities.
Daily Sun findings revealed that over 400 officers might be forced to premature retirement from service depending on which course the president decides to pick his service chiefs.