THE firing of service chiefs and immediate dissolution of the boards of all government parastatals, agencies, institutions and companies is the latest blitz by the new president, Bola Tinubu, to carve a stranglehold on power in Nigeria.
The purge comes three weeks after he was inaugurated as the fifth president of Africa’s political and economic powerhouse since the advent of civilian rule in 1999.
Tinubu, who is also Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, has made unprecedented changes since succeeding Muhammadu Buhari, and Monday evening marked the most dramatic crackdown of his reign.
Willie Bassey, the Director of Information to the Government, confirmed Tinubu had approved the immediate “retirement” of all service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, Advisers, and Comptroller-General of Customs from Service as well as their replacements with immediate effect.
Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is the new National Security Adviser. Major General Christopher Gwabin Musa is the new Chief of Defence Staff while Abiodun Lagbaja is the new Chief of Army Staff.
Rear Admiral EA Ogalla is now Chief of Naval Staff and Air Vice Marshal Hasan Bala Abubakar is Chief of Air Staff. Kayode Egbetokun is now Acting Inspector-General of Police and Maj. Gen. EPA Undiandeye is new Chief of Defense Intelligence.
Tinubu also approved the immediate dissolution of the boards of all government entities mentioned above. Bassey said this was in the exercise of the president’s constitutional powers and in the public interest.
“In view of this development and until such a time new boards are constituted, the Chief Executive Officers of the parastatals, agencies, institutions, and government-owned companies are directed to refer matters requiring the attention of their boards to the president, through the permanent secretaries of their respective supervisory
ministries and offices.”
Tinubu, the former Lagos governor, has in one fell swoop sought a stranglehold on the West African country.
Critics claim he is eager to rid the government of officials loyal to his predecessor, Buhari, or those that opposed his emergence as the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the February 25 elections.
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, were last week suspended and detained on multiple charges bordering on corruption and abuse of office.
The Comptroller General of Immigration, Rosemary Uzoma, was also fired at that time.
The Department of State Services (DSS) accused the media of “malicious articles, criticisms and baseless attacks” following the investigations of Bawa and Emefiele.
“These entities may also exploit unpatriotic members of the Service to spread falsehoods, propaganda and hate in order to project the organisation in a bad light,” DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, charged.
– CAJ News