New Military Chiefs Yet To Affect Operations Against Boko Haram

More than two weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari changed his military chiefs, the new men at the helms are yet to impact the war against Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

The new service chiefs are the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, a major general,the Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru, also a major general, the Chief of Naval Staff, Awwal Gambo, a rear admiral, and the Chief of Air staff, Isiaka Amao, an air vice marshal.

THE WHISTLER spoke to some serving and retired military officers to assess the first 14 days of the service chiefs. Specifically, they were asked to say what steps they had seen being taken by the new military chiefs to indicate a departure from the previous regime.

A serving Army Lieutenant who did not want his name mentioned revealed that the new Chief of Army Staff is yet to make any redeployment and has not issued any new policy direction.

He said:  “Since he came into power, no redeployment has been made, no policy direction, and this is because of the system. You cannot take decisions without the consent of some people who are more powerful than you as a head,” he explained.

He said it would be too early to judge the service chiefs because “military operations are herculean tasks to prejudge quickly.”

He stressed that military operations are “quite different from other disciplines and the COAS must take his time not to repeat some of the mistakes of his predecessor.”

He said he did not expect any substantial changes “because the major problems are not completely on those who are saddled with the responsibilities but the system.”

Also, a serving Brigadier General who spoke to this website at the Asokoro Officers’ Mess on Wednesday, said that the newly appointed service chiefs cannot act effectively and efficiently until they are decorated as lieutenant generals.

According to him, they are still major generals who are waiting for Mr President to decorate them with the rank of service chiefs (3-Star generals).

But Major General Eshema Asula (rtrd) is of the view that the new army chief’s visit to Maiduguri last week was a sign that he would do “something better” than his predecessor.

Asula said the COAS’ plan to work with Chad and Cameroun, “is a clear indication that his administration will surmount the dreaded terrorists.”

The new military chiefs were appointed on January 26.