Despite APC’s threat, Senate confirms new service chiefs

By The Citizen

The Senate on Thursday approved the appointment of the new service chiefs for the country.

Their confirmation followed the screening by the joint Senate committees on Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force and the consideration and adoption of the report by the Senate.

The joint committee was mandated on Jan. 23 to screen the nominees and submit the report within one week.

The Senate Minority Leader, George Akume (APC- Benue) said that contrary to beliefs in some quarters, the APC was not against their appointment.

Akume said that the party was in full support of the appointments of the chief of defence Staff and the service chiefs.

'I wish to state here that we, at the other side, are in full support of the appointments of Chief of Defence Staff and service chief.”

He urged the officers to work in line with democratic tenets and that they must see their appointments as service to their fatherland.

He also advised them to work to maintain peace and order where necessary irrespective of parties involved.

On his part, James Manager (PDP-Delta) said the new Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs were eminently qualified for the positions.

Manager implored them to live above board in the discharge of their new duties.

Mohammed Magoro (PDP-Kebbi) noted that they rose through the ranks of the military to get to their present positions and urged the senators to support their confirmation.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, noted that for the first time in Nigeria's democratic history, appointments of service chiefs were subjected to legislative scrutiny as required by the constitution.

He called on the appointees to justify the confidence repose in them by discharging their duties appropriately.

It will be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had on Jan. 16, nominated Air Marshal Alex Badeh to take over from Admiral Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim as Chief of Defence Staff.

Also Maj. Gen Tobiah Minimah replaced Lt.Gen Azubike Ihejirika as Chief of Army Staff.

Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin replaced Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Adesola Amosu replaced Air Marshal Badeh as Chief of Air Staff.

NAN also recalls that Jonathan had forwarded the names of the service chiefs to the Senate for confirmation upon the senate’s resumption from the Christmas holiday.

The officers have since assumed duties in their new offices.

The senate also deferred debate on the 2014 Appropriation Act to another legislative day.

Debate on the budget began on Tuesday, with most senators raising eyebrows over the wide margin between the capital expenditure and the recurrent among other issues.

Most senators were of the opinion that the capital expenditure should have been 74 per cent while recurrent should have been 26 per cent and not the reverse.

Other areas of concern were the need for the country to replace western economic theories with home grown ones.

The senators stressed the need to compel revenue generating agencies to remit such funds to the federation account.