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Senate screens, confirms Service Chiefs

By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, screened and confirmed Service Chiefs, just as they were charged to work assiduously on the procurement procedures in the Armed Forces as part of moves to check corruption.

The newly confirmed Service Chiefs were also charged by the Senate to  provide a new direction and leadership to the armed forces required at the time of the country’s history to nip in the bud, the security challenge where members of Boko Haram has continually engaged in massive killing and wanton destruction of property in the North-East.

Screening: From left, Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadiq Baba Abubakar; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Burutai and Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Abayomi Gabriel during Service Chiefs confirmation meeting with Ad-Hoc Committee on Screening of the Service Chiefs of the Senate, at the National Assembly, Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.
Screening: From left, Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadiq Baba Abubakar; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Burutai and Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Abayomi Gabriel during Service Chiefs confirmation meeting with Ad-Hoc Committee on Screening of the Service Chiefs of the Senate, at the National Assembly, Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.

The confirmation came after the Senators went into a closed door session for four hours.

Those screened by the Senators, yesterday, for four hours from 11.20 am to 4.05 pm were  Major-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin as Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General T.Y. Buratai as Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas as Chief of Naval Staff and Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar as Chief  of Air Staff.

Closed door session

Earlier, the Senate had at 11.20am broke into a closed door session soon after Senate  leader, Senator Ali Ndume had said: “That the Senate do consider the request of Mr. President, C-in-C, for the confirmation of the following nominees for appointment as Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs respectively for the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in accordance with Section 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act, CAP. A.20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

Soon after the closed door session and the senators returned to their seats for the proper confirmation, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asked at 4.14 pm if what happened was a true reflection of what transpired in the committee of the whole, the Senators all agreed that it was a true picture of what took place.

Speaking after the lawmakers all agreed for the confirmation, Senator Saraki, who hailed the newly appointed Service Chiefs, stressed that their appointment came in due time when insurgency had reached its peak.

Saraki said: “It is clear that their appointment is based on merit and their presence before us today. The appointment as we all see, is coming at a very crucial time with a lot of challenges particularly insurgency in the North-East and some other security issues, for example, the issue of oil theft when they came before us.

Effective procurement procedures

“We hope that during the period of time, their performance will take off the responsibility required. We are all keen to restore the image and reputation of the armed forces. I believe that their confirmation is the beginning of their journey to restore the glory of the armed force in our great nation.”

The Senate President, who noted that the armed forces also needed to work on the procurement proceedures aimed at rooting out corruption, however, promised that the committees when set up to perform the role of oversight would have a serious role to play.

Ekweremadu, other Senators to visit IDPs

Meanwhile,  Senate President Saraki has disclosed that Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, would today lead other Senators to Adamawa on a visit to Internally Displaced Persons’ Camps.

Other Senators on the trip are Senators Ahmed Lawan, Yobe North; Murtala Nyako, Adamawa Central; Binta Garba, Adamawa North; Ahmadu Abubakar, Adamawa South; George Sekibo, Rivers East, among others.

It would recalled that Senate President Saraki had on Monday led other Senators on the spot assessment of the security situation in Borno State where he made a cash donation of N10 million in support of the upkeep of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

 


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