Enraged by the ease with which the Islamic sect Boko Haram has been attacking security formations in parts of the country, President Goodluck Jonathan is set to remove all the service chiefs this week.
The President is said to be particularly piqued by yesterday’s bomb blast at the 1st Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army in Kaduna, which is reported to have taken the soldiers off guard.
LEADERSHIP sources at the Defence Headquarters said barring last minute manoeuvring, the president is poised to finally relieve the three service chiefs of their duties and replace them with new ones.
President Jonathan’s decision will affect the three service chiefs - Army, Navy and Airforce and possibly, the Chief of Defence Staff.
Investigations by LEADERSHIP interestingly indicated that both the rank and file and even the officers seem to be keen in seeing that the present leadership of the service chiefs give way to new ones.
At the Defence Headquarters where the three services are located, officers and men of the three services were seen discussing the impending sack in hushed tones but with excitement and expectations.
A very reliable source informed Leadership that sacking of the service chiefs would be one of the best decisions that the president can take as the country needed a new leadership that may be more innovative and proactive.
Speaking proverbially a source had jokingly asked Leadership “If the big elephants have finally fallen as expected, saying it would not be surprised to hear they have been removed, as the move had been long overdue.”
Further investigations by Leadership also showed that the officers and men in the three services were united in their belief that a change at the apex was desirable at this point in time.
Leadership sources hinted that “President Jonathan was now disposed to replacing the current service chiefs, as he had given them enough rope to stem the tide, but failed.”
Our impeccable source who craved for anonymity said, “We thought that the change in the leadership of the three services had finally come. I’m surprised it had not been announced but within the week, it will be announced if Mr. President is able to diffuse the pressure coming from those that want them retained,” he said.
Jonathan has been criticised repeatedly by some segments of the society for his inability to sack the heads of security agencies in the face of the increasing security challenge.
He had been urged to effect a radical change so that new ones can emerge with fresh ideas that could deal with the menace of Boko Haram and other security challenges.
The present service chiefs who may be affected are: chief of defence staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petirin, chief of army staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, chief of air staff, Air Marshal Diko Umar and chief of naval staff.