By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination of Major General Lucky Eluoye Onyenucheya Irabor as Chief of Defence Staff.
Also confirmed were the nominations of Major General Ibrahim Attahiru as Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Agambi as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Alao as Chief of air Staff.
The confirmation of the nominees followed consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Defence during plenary.
The nominees were appointed by President Buhari to take-over the rein of leadership in the military from the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Chairman of the Committee, Aliyu Margatakarda Wammako (APC, Sokoto North), in his presentation of the report said that the Joint Committee on Defence, Army, Navy and Airforce “screened the four nominees and was satisfied with their qualifications, exposures, conducts, characters, experiences and General performances.
According to lawmaker, “the nominees have displayed wide and in-depth knowledge on strategies, tactics and military operations.”
Contributing, Senator Jibrin Barau described the nominees as “capable” in tackling head-on the challenges presented by the spate of insecurity across the country.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central) recalled that the appointment of the nominees were made by President Buhari following persistent agitations by the National Assembly and Nigerians demanding a change of the leadership of the military.
According to him, the change in Military leadership became imperative in view of the heightening spate of insecurity and banditry in the North-east, North-west and North-central, respectively.
“Mr. President, we are in very perilous times with insurgency in the north-east and banditry in the north-west and north-central most especially.
“For so long, and indeed so many times on this floor, and on the floor of our sister chamber in the House of Representatives, there were serious agitations for changes to be effected in the military leadership of the security agencies.
“Mr. President took his time and finally acceded to this request and agitation. In doing so, the President took his time to seek out the very best in the arms services.
“Mr. President, the intellect, the achievement and the exploits of these nominees are very well documented in this report,” Omo-Agege said.
The nominees were, thereafter, confirmed by the Senate in a Committee of the Whole.