President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday appointed new top military bosses, but retained the incumbent Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Onyeabo Azubike Ihejirika in his possition.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ola Sa'ad Ibrahimn, is now the new Chief of Defence Staff, succeeding Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin who has retired.
Air Vice Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh from Adamawa State is appointed Chief of Air Staff replacing Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar who has also retired.
Chief of Administration at the Defence Headquarters Rear Admiral Dele Ezeoba from Delta State is the new Chief of Naval Staff.
Defence chief Ibrahim is expected to be promoted to the rank of admiral by the President while naval chief Ezeoba will be elevated to vice admiral and air force chief Badeh to Air Marshal.
The former service chiefs had since served out their two-year tenure and the new appointments have now ended months of media speculations about their fate- whether they should all go because of the continuing security challenges.
Military sources said the president reserves the right to reappoint them, but in the end he exercised that discretion in favour of the Army and the defence chiefs Chiefs.
Vice Admiral Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim
Vice Admiral Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim 52 from Kwara state was a graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna and the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, he trained with the Royal and Indian navies. He holds the Bachelor of Laws Degree from Ahmadu Bello University and a Masters Degree from the Department of War Studies and Public at the King's College University of London. In February 2009, he was appointed as the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, the appointment he held till his elevation to the position of the Chief of the Naval Staff on September 8, 2010.
Lt Gen Onyeabo Azubike
Ihejirika was born in Ovim in Isuikwato Local Government Area of Abia State on 13 February, 1956. Gen Ihejirika has held many appointments in the staff, instructor and command categories. He was a Directing Staff (DS) at both the junior and senior divisions of the Command and Staff College, Jaji where he earn the prestigious psc(+). At the staff level, he was Staff Officer Grade 1 at the Army Faculty, Command and Lt Gen Ihejirika a former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division in Lagos and later Chief of Defence Logistics before his became army chief on 8 September 2010.
Rear Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba
Rear Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba was born on 25 July 1958 in Jos, Plateau state and hails from Ibusa in Oshimili- North Local Government Area of Delta State. A graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna Regular Course 22 and the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, he trained at various times with the United States, Royal and Indian navies. Rear Admiral Dele Joseph is a Navigation and Direction Specialist and holds a Master of Science Degree in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan.
Rear Admiral DJ Ezeoba also served as the Director of Operations and later as the Chief of Training and Operations at the Naval Headquarters. It was from this appointment that he was appointed as the Deputy Commandant of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji. Thereafter, he was appointed as the Chief of Administration at the Defence Headquarters, the appointment he held till his elevation to the present appointment of the Chief of the Naval Staff on 4 October 2012.
Air Vice Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh
Air Vice Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh was born in Vimtim, Mubi North Local Government area, Adamawa State on January 10, 1957. He attended the Villanova Secondary School, Numan Adamawa State. He was admitted into the Nigerian Defence Academy as a member of the 21 Regular Course on 3 January 1977, and was commissioned pilot officer on 3 July 1979. He was promoted AVM on 3 January 2008.
He started his flying career at the 301 Flying Training School on the Bulldog primary trainer aircraft in 1979. He attended the Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base in the United States Air Force between January 1981 and September 1982. He is a Qualified Flying Instructor and has accumulated over 6000 flying hours on the Bulldog 123, Do 128-6, Do 228, Hawker 125, Hawker 1000, Falcon 900 and Gulfstream 5 airplanes.
He attended the National War College Nigeria as a member of course 14 and obtained Msc in August 2006 from the University of Ibadan.
AVM Badeh was a Directing Staff and Director National Military Strategy and the National Defence College, Chief of Policy and Plans Headquarters Nigerian Air Force. He was the Air Officer Commanding Training Command Nigerian Air Force Kaduna before he was appointed as air force chief.
. Ola Ibrahim is new CDS
. Ihejirika remains COAS
. Badeh is new Chief of Air Staff
. Ezeoba is new Chief of N/Staff