The Senate, on Thursday, confirmed the appointment of the Service Chiefs nominated by President Bola Tinubu.
The confirmation was a sequel to the consideration and approval of a motion brought by the Senate Majority Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti).
The Service Chiefs are Maj. Gen, Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, Chief of Naval Staff; Air Vice Marshall Hassan Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff; and Christopher Musa, Chief of Defence Staff.
The President had on June 19 appointed the Service Chiefs and they have since assumed duty making the screening and confirmation a mere formality.
They will after today’s screening exercise be sworn in to their respective offices.
Before their confirmation, the Senate suspended its Order 1B and Rule 1B, to make provision for the admittance of strangers into its chamber.
Those admitted into the chamber included the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Abdullahi Gumel, the nominated service chiefs and others.
After that, the service chiefs took turns to highlight their career profiles and professional experiences, before the Senate dissolved into a close session that lasted for three hours for screening of the nominees.
In his speech, Musa pledged the commitment of the Armed Forces to serve Nigerians in line with the dictates of the constitution.
He said, “Under my watch, the Armed Forces shall continue to serve the Nigerian people dutifully and in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other extant provisions of the law for the federation.”
Ogalla noted that he would do his best to upgrade the standard he met, assuring Nigerians that he was fully prepared for the job.
Ogalla stated, “I fully understand the challenges facing the Nigerian Navy. In line with our statutory roles, which are the defence of the nation’s territorial integrity of the maritime domain as well as the policing roles of protecting the nation’s resources and contribution to military aid to the civil power, I am fully prepared to carry out these roles.”
On his part, Abubakar said he would mobilise the nation’s air power to ensure peace and security in the country, in line with the aspiration of the President.
He said, “On assumption of office as the acting Chief of Air Staff, on the 19th of June 2023, I reiterated my commitment to reinvigorating our fight against terrorism, insurgency and other security threats facing our dear nation.
“I also noted two key attributes of cooperation and joint-ness which have been instrumental in the successes so far recorded in our counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts, which we intend to hold in line with Mr President’s directive as outlined during the maiden National Security Council meeting.”
Lagbaja, on his part, noted that the country in the past two decades had gone through challenging security situations that had impacted adversely on the economic, social, and political lives.
He said, “The feat of our founding fathers is that of a strong, prosperous, globally competitive and influential nation. However, today’s painful reality is that insecurity has distorted our developmental plan and aspiration as Nigerians.”
“I know that the Nigerian Army that I have been nominated to lead is a crucial component of our military instrument of national power. It is the largest, most complex, most geographically spread and often, most sought after, when security situations go sour. For the Nigerian Army to grapple with the demands of the contemporary security environment, it must consistently transform to be a step ahead of its time.”
He said if confirmed by the Senate “and given the uncommon mandate to lead the Nigerian Army during this period, I shall do my best to justify the confidence reposed in me by His Excellency and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces and the larger Nigerian society.”
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze
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