President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, sent packing his service chiefs and appointed new ones in their place.
Investigation conducted by a national daily revealed that the President’s became necessary because of the cold war going on among the service chiefs, which has affected the counter-insurgency war in the Northeast against the Boko Haram sect. There were reports that the then chief of defence staff, Admiral Ibrahim and some of the service chiefs were having issues. This had led to the then chief of army staff, Lt. Gen. Ihejirika’s (who had been after his job) scheming against him and in the process, hijacking the prosecution of the war against terrorism.
According to a reliable source, when President Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, the CDS was mandated to preside over the prosecution. “But since it is the army that constituted most of the Joint Task Force operation team, the Army Council wanted to be in charge and this was allowed by the Presidency. The JTF was sacked; the army chief took over the war and set up the 7 Division of the army in Maiduguri. Although Ihejirika claimed setting up the 7 Division would bring the war to an end, it has not.”
Another source said whenever there was a victory over the insurgents, the army, through the 7 Division claimed the victory and this did not go down well with other security agencies like the Nigerian Air Force who are also deeply involved in the operations.
Another security source also disclosed that Ezeoba, though relatively new on the seat, was removed as a result of the seemingly endless oil theft in the Niger Delta where he hails from.
On why the president did not wait for NASS approval of the new service chiefs as directed by the Federal High Court in Abuja, a source said that it was due to the sensitivity of security and for political expediency.
The special adviser on media however said that Jonathan had briefed the leadership of the National Assembly before appointing the service chiefs.