To avoid creating constitutional problems in the polity, the Boko Haram insurgency that has been ravaging the North East part of Nigeria must end by April this year, Nigeria newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS), Air Marshal Alex Badeh said at a taking over ceremony from the outgoing CDS, Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim at the Defence head quarters in Abuja on Monday.
“The security situation in the north east must be brought to a complete stop, before April 2014. I was telling my colleagues that we must bring it to a stop by that April so that we do not have constitutional problems in our hands,” said Badeh.
The new CDS is from Adamawa, one of the states in the north east Nigeria where Boko Haram is very active and is currently under state of emergency.
The state of emergency declared to enable the military deploys all its arsenal against Boko Haram was renewed last November for six months. It will be due for renewal in April 2014.
Badeh said the military will not go back to the Senate to beg and lobby for the extension of the state of emergency currently on in those states. He argued that if the military do its work cohesively, the insurgency can be finished off in no time.
The new CDS also warned that the military is ready to deal with insiders sabotaging the efforts to end the insurgency.
“The youth say there are members of this thing in the armed forces and what, those of you that are here send word to your colleagues there that they are in trouble, we are coming after you”, said Bedeh.
He added that he will do his best to guide the armed forces of Nigeria toward achieving the desired successes arguing that unity of command is the preferred method of achieving unity of effect and effort by our military forces.
His predecessor however warned that the Nigerian armed forces exist to deepen democracy and not undermine. He therefore said the Armed Forces should not do anything to the contrary.
Also, on Monday, Major General Keneth Minimah took over as the new Chief of Army Staff from General Azuibike Ihejirika. In his reaction to speculations that the appointment of General Minimah may result in a gale of early retirements of Generals in the Army, Ihejirika told journalists during the handing over ceremony that only five senior officers earmarked for retirement after the appointment of General Minimah and not over 30 as carried reported by the media. The outgoing COAS especially warned against overheating the polity especially over the issue of Boko Haram insurgency, affirming that no military commander will encourage his troops to violate the human rights of citizens.
While speaking at the occasion, the new COAS said under his leadership, Nigerian army will remain loyal to the constitution of the Federal Republic and President Goodluck Jonathan as Commander in Chief.
On his part, the new chief of Naval Staff, Air Vice Mashal Adesola Amosu pledged that his tenure of office will witness radical transformation of Nigeria Air Force into a fighting force ready for the emerging challenges of the twenty first century.
Air Vice Marshal Amosu spoke while taking over from the outgoing Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh, who is the newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff.
“It is absolutely necessary to focus on joint warfare capabilities, innovative ideas and pursuit of credible international alliance to stamp out threats to national security,” said Amosu.
Also, the new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, promised to transform the Navy in a way in which it will be able to respond effectively to the myriad of security challenges in the Nigeria maritime sector, especially as it relates to oil theft. Jibrin noted that with about 80 percent of funds accruing to the nation coming from the maritime sector, anything that inhibits the sector in nothing but a declaration of war.
His predecessor, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba however noted that oil theft and sea robbery has been reduced to its barest minimum through the support and cooperation of officer and men of the Navy.
He therefore charged the new CNS to continue the implementation of the Strategic Work Plan and Guide Line Document, designed for the repositioning of the Navy to international standards even as he noted that housing deficit is one of the problems confronting the Navy.