President Buhari meets new service chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday met with the newly appointed Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja with a directive that they should rise up to the nation’s current security challenges.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday met with the newly appointed Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja with a directive that they should rise up to the nation’s current security challenges.

The meeting was coming barely 24 hours after the new top military chiefs were named by President Buhari.

Present at the meeting held behind closed doors were Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, General Irabor explained that the President challenged the appointees to be alive to their responsibilities.

He said: “The message from the President is that knowing the current security environment we must do everything possible to add value to the security disposition and the expectations are high and that we are quite mindful of that expectations. So, we collectively, will work to achieve that.”

According to him, the new service chiefs would work to bring security to lives and properties.

He said: “We have just seen Mr. President and we are mindful of the demands. We can only at this stage pledge our utmost best to bring safety and security to lives and properties across the country”.

The CDS assured that the new top military echelon would ensure that value is added to the lives of citizens, saying: “On behalf of the Service Chiefs, I am assuring the nation of peace and security. We believe there will be value that will be added to the security disposition of the nation.”

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The Commander, U.S. Africa Command, U General Stephen Townsend, wrapped up a three-day West African visit February 22-25, 2021, with a stopover in Nigeria to meet with the nation’s leaders and further the long-standing partnership and security cooperation between the two countries.

A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.