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Defence, Naval Chiefs are not being sacked, they are stepping down: Presidency

By The Rainbow
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The presidency has denied a news report that President Muhammad Buhari has approved the replacement of Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as Service Chiefs.

Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said the report was “not completely true”.

He however admitted that the defence chief was stepping down.

” The newspaper, rather than rush to print an unsubstantiated story, would have done better to confirm the information at its disposal, from many available military and government information channels. It then would have avoided the self-inflicted wound of publishing a one-legged story that is not completely true, and damaging its brand in the process.

“Gen Olonisakin is due to retire from the Army next week, having satisfied the official number of years in service. He is yet to be replaced. But the Chief of Naval Staff has a short while more, and President Buhari could, therefore, not have approved his replacement yet.”

Mr. Adesina said the administration had repeatedly pledged commitment to transparency and accountability, and one of the hallmarks of that is making information available to the media.

“But when some sections of the media would rather speculate, than cross-check and double check information, then it borders on deliberate mischief. That, surely, is not the way to go, for national cohesion and development,” he said.

The attention of the Honourable Minister of Defence Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali was drawn to some online publications claiming that he has sent letters to the Chief of Defence Staff General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin and Chief of the Naval staff Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas directing them to hand over their offices on or before friday, 16 december .

Please be informed that there was no such communication between the office of the Honourable Minister of Defence and the service chiefs directing any one of them to hand over his office and proceed on retirement. The appointment and replacement of service chiefs is a prerogative responsibility of the office of the President and Commander in Chief.

Please endevour to always balance your stories from the right sources to avoid mischef.

You are requested to kindly disseminate to the general public.