The appointment of new Service chiefs and the National Security Adviser (NSA) by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu drew acclaim yesterday from eminent Nigerians.
Governors, monarchs, senators, House of Representatives members and other groups, said President was on course.
President Tinubu made key security appointments in a major shake-up.
The new Service Chiefs are Maj. Gen. Christopher Gewbi Musa, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS); Maj.-Gen. Taoreed A Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff (COAS); Rear Admiral Emmanuel A. Ogalla, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Hassan Bala Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff (CAS).
They will hold office in acting capacities.
Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) of Police Kayode Egbetokun was named the acting Inspector-General of Police while Mallam Nuhu Ribadu is the NSA.
Egbetokun, who was decorated yesterday by Vice President Kashim Shettima, vowed to take the battle to criminals.
He said he felt like a tiger and a lion ready to attack their prey.
Among the governors who hailed the appointments are Uba Sani (Kaduna), Ademola Adeleke (Osun) and Biodun Oyebanji (Ekiti).
Others are House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu; former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Deputy National Chairman Chief Olabode George; Secretary to Kano State Government Baffa Bichi; PDP governorship aspirant in Kano State, Mr. Jafar Bello and Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari.
Former Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) Mike Ejiofor; the Northern Christian Youth Professionals (NCYP) and rights activist Deji Adeyanju also welcomed the appointments, among others.
Sani said the appointment of Gen. Musa, an indigene of the state, as the CDS, was well-deserved.
In a statement, the governor said: “He is a worthy ambassador of Kaduna State, having had a distinguished military career and held many strategic positions, including Theatre Commander Operation Hadin Kai.”
Sani emphasised that Gen. Musa has been exemplary in his professional conduct throughout his years of military service.
He praised the new CDS for his diligence, dedication, and loyalty, which have now been rewarded with his elevation.
Sani expressed profound gratitude to President Tinubu for recognising the worthiness of their son for such an important national assignment.
Adeleke hailed the appointments of Maj.-Gen. Lagbaja as the Chief of Army Staff and Bashir Adewale Adeniyi as the acting Comptroller-General of Customs.
He described the appointments as a recognition of capacity and outstanding track records.
The governor, who welcomed the elevation of the two indigenes of Osun as a great honour, thanked President Tinubu for trusting the duo with important roles.
In a congratulatory message by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, he expressed strong belief in their capacity to deliver on their assigned mandates.
Tinubu’s appointment reasonable, says George
George, a known critic of the president, said rejigging the security architecture was reasonable.
He said he was not averse to working with Tinubu if he is invited and permitted by his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
The former military governor of Ondo State spoke on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today.
George, who said he was not an enemy of the president, said the appointments were a departure from the past, adding that they reflected federal character.
He urged President Tinubu to revisit Goodluck Jonathan’s report on restructuring and called for the creation of state police.
He also said he was not averse to working with the president if he is invited to come on board.
But he added that he would need the permission of his party before accepting any offer.
He said: “On relieving the service chiefs and appointing a new set of service chiefs, Tinubu’s start-off is reasonable, though not perfect. At least, it is better than what we had known before.
“To lead the country is not an easy job and the only thing we can also do is to pray for whoever occupies the seat of the president. It is not a matter of totalitarianism or know-it all syndrome. You need a lot of good advisers, introspection.
“Now, the president is doing some balancing. So far, it is reasonable.
“For me, as regards the federal character, the appointment Tinubu has made so far is still reasonable.
“Let the President approve state police for us. He should revisit the report by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Though I am an irredentist member of the PDP, if the president calls me to work with him, I’ll go and seek permission from my party before considering it.
“I have no qualms with Tinubu. If we are fighting, it is not to death.”
Bichi and Bello hailed the appointments.
According to them, President Tinubu has shown that he knows his onions with these appointments.
They also expressed hope that with the crop of new security chiefs, the security challenges would soon be surmounted.
Bichi said: “The appointments were very much expected. Looking at the appointments, they are balanced.
“The president has again shown that he knows his onions and he will select the correct set of people.
“By and large, we believe that these choices are good for the country. We congratulate them and wish them well.”
Bello, who faulted some who have been agitating over the likely choice of Ribadu as the NSA, said that was a wrong mindset.
He said: “This is about competence, capacity and capability.
“And I think that Mr. President has done the right thing to stand his ground on the choice of Ribabu and this is a welcome development.
“The president has to put every square peg in square holes and round pegs in round holes.
“With these appointments, it is clear that the president has the security of the nation at the bottom of his heart.
“And there could be no better time than now to rearrange the security architecture of this country.”
Deputy Speaker seeks support for Ogalla
Kalu commended the President for appointing Rear Admiral Ogalla as the Chief of Naval Staff.
He described the appointment as a diversity–sensitive one by the president, who is determined to lead an all inclusive government and promote national cohesion in the country.
He thanked President Tinubu for his proactiveness in appointing capable hands to man key areas of the new administration.
The deputy speaker congratulated the new Chief of Naval Staff and urged the Southeast to support the current administration as their interests are well secured by Tinubu.
Alhaji Gambari described the appointment of Egbetokun as a reward for diligence, hard work and patriotism.
The Chairman of Kwara Traditional Rulers Council conveyed his felicitation in a congratulatory message by his spokesman, Malam Abdulazeez Arowona.
He described Egbetokun as a detribalised Nigerian, adding that he is committed to the security and protection of lives and property of the nation.
The emir recalled that when Egbetokun was the Commissioner of Police in Kwara between January 2019 and December 2020, he fought crime and criminality across the state.
Ejiofor: TInubu dousing tension in Southeast
Ex-DSS chief Ejiofor hailed President Tinubu for promoting fairness in the appointments.
Describing them as all-inclusive, he added: “I’m more delighted that the Southeast is now represented and this is a way of dousing tension.
“I don’t think he (Tinubu) wants to look at solving the security challenges we have with the jackboot method that we’ve all been using.”
The former DSS director commended the President for appointing somebody from the Southeast, stating that he had received several calls following the news.
He said: “It’s a way of building confidence and reassuring the people. The President should be commended.”
‘Tinubu uniting Nigeria’
The NCYP commended President Tinubu for promoting equity in the country.
In a statement, its Chairman, Isaac Abrak, said the appointments reinforce the belief that the Muslim-Muslim ticket during the election was never intended to disrespect Christians, especially those in the North, but a strategic move to secure electoral victory.
Urging Christians and all Nigerians to wholeheartedly embrace the schemes of things in the Tinubu-led administration, and foster unity within the diverse nation, the NCYP urged those appointed by the president to serve Nigeria as one regardless of any basis of ethnicity, or faith.
Abrak said: “In particular, we would like to express our deep appreciation for the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Musa as the Chief of Staff. Maj.-Gen. Musa, a northern Christian from the minority tribe of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area in Kaduna state, has been appointed despite the fact that his local government did not strongly support the President during the election.
“This appointment stands as a shining example that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not engage in the politics of bitterness, which is unfortunately rare among politicians. Instead, he governs with remarkable ingenuity and inclusiveness, leading all Nigerians as one united nation.”
He added: “President Tinubu with his rare ingenuity has set aside the politics of the election and is now governing all Nigerians as one, without distinction. His visionary leadership deserves our admiration, and support and is worthy of emulation by all politicians, especially the emerging generation.”
“The Northern Christian Youth Professionals calls upon all Christians and Nigerians to unite in prayer for the well-being of the President.
“Let us pray for his wisdom, good health, and divine guidance as he leads our great nation through these challenging times.
“By standing together and offering our collective support, we can help build a stronger and more prosperous Nigeria.”
Rights activist Deji Adeyanju commended the President for appointing Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as NSA.
He described the appointment as fitting and a courageous decision by the President.
In a statement, Adeyanju said: “As Nigeria gradually exits a period where political appointments, once made, were retained for the duration of their term, irrespective of the appointee’s incompetence, it is important to remind President Tinubu that military appointments are not to be made as political patronage.
“If the new service chiefs fail in their duty, they should equally be sacked without much ado. Only through this means can we have service chiefs whose loyalty is to the Nigerian state.
“I also use this medium to congratulate Mallam Nuhu Ribadu on his appointment as the National Security Adviser. Mallam Ribadu has had a stellar career, and expect that he will bring his wealth of experience to bear on the nation’s security affairs.
“I call on the new service chiefs and acting Inspector General of Police to eschew interagency conflict and corruption.
“President Bola Tinubu and all newly appointed officials must make efforts to halt the decline in every strata of our national life,” he said.
Group hails Tinubu for appointing Ribadu
Founder and Chief Executive of Connected Development (CODE), Hamzat Lawal, hailed President Tinubu for appointing Ribadu as NSA.
Lawal in a statement said the appointment demonstrates Tinubu’s commitment to strengthening the nation’s security apparatus.
He added that Ribadu brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and a proven track record in the field of intelligence as an outstanding and highly respected retired police officer.
He added: “This unprecedented decision demonstrates President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to strengthening the nation’s security apparatus and ensuring the well-being of its citizens.
“Mallam Ribadu brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and a proven track record in the field of intelligence as an outstanding and highly respected retired police officer.”
Oyebanji hails Alake’s appointment
The President also got kudo for appointing competent technocrats into other positions.
Oyebanji thanked President Tinubu for the appointments of two illustrious indigenes-Dele Alake as Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy, and Ibrahim Olanrewaju as Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives).
Oyebanji who described the duo as “very experienced, hardworking and capable,” said he was happy the President found them worthy of such significant positions in his government.
The Governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), Yinka Oyebode, said he was optimistic that the former lawmaker would excel in his new role as the President’s Liaison Officer in the National Assembly, giving his antecedence as a decent and pragmatic politician and lawmaker, who served as Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Production Services as well as a member of the Defence, Judiciary, Environment and Justice committees in the 9th House of Representatives.
While congratulating Olanrewaju on the new appointment, which he described as a notable recognition of his steadfastness, political maturity and high-level integrity, Governor Oyebanji urged him to deploy his energy, contact, tact and political sagacity in building an excellent working relationship between the National Assembly and the Presidency, a development he said is crucial to the country’s political stability.
Oyebanji said Alake’s wealth of experience as a Veteran journalist, prolific writer, media manager, pro-democracy activist and political communication strategist would add great value to the administration’s commitment to running a people-oriented government, where effective communication with the citizenry is very key.
He described the Ikoro-Ekiti-born veteran journalist as a highly decorated journalist and communication strategist who has continued to demonstrate a great capacity for communication strategies and perception management since his role as a Communication Adviser to the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola in the nineties; his eight years stint as Commissioner for Information and Strategy during the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration in Lagos State and his recent role as Communication Adviser during the presidential campaigns, with outstanding performance.
‘Tinubu is gender sensitive’
An educationist and gender activist, Osamaye Seun Bosede, congratulated Hadiza Bala Usman, Hannatu Musa Musawa, and other women appointed into key positions by President Tinubu.
Osamaye commended President Tinubu for being gender sensitive in his appointments so far, asserting that the President would perform beyond expectations and prove his critics wrong.
Osamaye said in a statement that “these appointments are a significant step towards the advancement of women in the country and a testament to the President’s commitment to gender equality.”
A group, Coalition for Good Governance and Accountability (COGGA), hailed Tinubu for appointing female technocrats and core professionals into positions.
The group made the commendation yesterday at a news conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, urging the President to always boost the confidence of Nigerians in his administration.
The National Coordinator of COGGA, Comrade Amatare Mozimo, applauded President Tinubu for hitting the ground running, barely three weeks after assuming the leadership of Africa’s most populous nation.
He said it was against the backdrop of President Tinubu’s giant strides that COGGA is urging him to consider a frontline chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mrs Ongoebi Maureen Orubide Etebu, as a minister.
Mozimo said Etebu, a Bayelsa-born Professor of Engineering with three doctoral degrees and four Masters in core engineering fields of mechanical, industrial, power and energy from top Ivy-League universities across the globe, would boost the President’s ministerial pick.
He stated: “We are full of admiration for the rich resume of the female engineer of impeccable character. Prof. Etebu’s pedigree is second to none as President Tinubu shall find her worthy and capable to work with.