Nigerian President Buhari replaces military chiefs

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari replaces military chiefs after firing heads of army, navy and air force

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Nigeria’s President since May, Muhammadu Buhari, appointed new defence chiefs on Monday after firing the heads of the military, navy and airforce, following Boko Haram’s recent deadly attacks on civilians over the last three weeks.

Buhari, who vowed to defeat Boko Haram, has frequently criticised the military’s incompetence in tackling its deadliest opponent Boko Haram which recently carried out a wave of attacks killing over 250 people from Nigeria all the way to Cameroon.

The group is expected to have been responsible for the deaths of more than 10,000 people since 2009, thus analysts say Buhari’s sacking of chiefs was not an unexpected move.

Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai was appointed as the new head of military, Major General Babagana Monguno as the National Security adviser and Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan as chief of Defence Intelligence.

The leaders reportedly have plans to cooperate with neighbours Chad, Cameroon and Niger to eliminate the militant group.

A base for a Nigerian-led army troop force will be established in Chad, with close to 10,000 soldiers, trained to tackle Boko Haram.

Former army chief Lieutenant General Kenneth Minima said Boko Haram’s increased attacks was actually a result of the army’s success in tackling the militant group, not long before he was withdrawn from duty, adding that Boko Haram was targeting civilians as it no longer had the strength and force to oppose the army as a consequence of having been “seriously degraded.”

Boko Haram has been fighting a six-year insurgency in a bid to establish a state of its own in northern Nigeria and in the process has killed thousands of people and caused about 1.5 million to flee their homes.

The militant group pledged its allegiance to ISIS in March.

TRTWorld and agencies