President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday in Abuja tasked the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS),? Adm. Ola Ibrahim and the three service chiefs on national security and rising incidences of crude oil theft.
The president set the task when he decorated the CDS, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Dele Ezeoba and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, with their new ranks.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, who retained his position and rank in the new appointments made by the president on Oct. 4, was not decorated.
“I will like to use this forum to specially charge you to rise to the remaining security challenges confronting our nation today, most specifically the Chief of Naval Staff along with his officers and men have onerous responsibility of scaling security in our territorial waters.
“The unacceptable rising incidences of crude oil theft must be tackled frontally.
“Given the direct adverse implication of the activities of crude oil thieves on our national economy, I expect the chief of naval staff and the other service chiefs to immediately go to work to urgently bring the issue of crude oil theft to an end.’’
President Jonathan noted that the appointment of the new officers was based on the attributes of “patriotism, professionalism, excellence, loyalty, dedication, courage and unwavering faith in Nigeria’’.
He said the service chiefs were taking up the command of the armed forces at a critical time when the nation faced security challenges.
He expressed optimism that given their experiences and by working in synergy with other security services, the service chiefs would overcome.
He charged them to bring fresh impetus in the renewed security architecture to combat the menace of terrorism across the country in all its ramifications.
“The safety of lives and property in all parts of the country is a sacred obligation of this administration and we will do everything in our powers to live up to it.
“We cannot allow threat to our national security to compromise our national transformation efforts,’’ he said.
The president expressed the nation’s gratitude to the immediate past CDS, retired Air Chief Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Dikko Umar.
He also paid tribute to fallen heroes and expressed the commitment of his administration to the welfare and well-being of men and women of the armed forces.
Earlier, Ibrahim had on behalf of his colleagues thanked the president for the promotion and honour done to them and assured him of their commitment and loyalty.
He said: “we are fully aware of the critical state of affairs and considerable security challenges facing our country.
“Be assured, Mr. President, of our own determination and commitment to dealing decisively with those security challenges.
“We are poised to support you, Mr. President, in your quests to put in place a stable polity, to deepen our democracy and enthrone the rule of law in our country.
“Permit me, Mr. President, to attest to the unalloyed loyalty, dedication, high professional standards and competence of all your choices.’’
Born on June 15, 1955, Ibrahim is a graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, and the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State.
The new CDS also holds the Bachelor of Laws Degree from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and a Masters Degree from the War Studies and Public Policy Institute at King's College, University of London.
He trained with the Royal Indian Navies and had tours of duty on Nigerian Naval ships in various capacities.
Ibrahim is a navigation and direction specialist and wears the Command at Sea badge for successful command at sea on various Nigerian Naval ships.
In February 2009, he was appointed as the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, the appointment he held till his elevation to the Chief of Naval Staff on Sept. 8, 2010 and as CDS on Oct. 4, 2012.
Born in January 1957 in Adamawa, the new Chief of Air Staff is a 1979 graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy where he was commissioned as pilot officer.
Badeh also has a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from University of Ibadan.
He held the positions of Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet from 2002 to 2004; the Director of Research at the Defence Headquarters and Director, National Military Strategy at the National Defence College of Nigeria.
Until his appointment as the Chief of Air Staff, Badeh was the Air Officer Commanding, Training Command, Kaduna.
The new Chief of Naval Staff, born in 1958 in Jos, is also a graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy and the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji.
He held command of the Nigeria Navy ships at various times before he was deployed to the Navy headquarter as Director of Naval Operations, and later, Director of Training, Defence Headquarters.
He was the Chief of Defence (Administration) at the Defence Headquarters before his appointment as the Chief of Naval Staff.