Buhari has been under pressure due to the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has replaced the country’s main military commanders after months of pressure on his response to the worsening security situation in the country.
Leo Irabor has been appointed to the powerful post of Chief of the Defense Staff, which oversees the main military branches, the presidency spokesman said, while I Attahiru, AZ Gambo and IO Amao would respectively command the army, navy and air force.
“President Buhari thanks the outgoing heads of services for what he calls their ‘overwhelming achievements in our efforts to bring lasting peace to our dear country,'” the presidential spokesman told the agency. Reuters news report that some of the chiefs had resigned while others had retired.
The statement gives no reason for the overhaul of the country’s top commanders.
Buhari, a former army general first elected in 2015, came to power promising to tackle Nigeria’s security concerns.
Since 2009, at least 36,000 people have been killed in armed conflicts in Nigeria and violence has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, resulting in the formation of a regional military coalition.
Various security issues
Hopes were high after the initial successes that repelled the Boko Haram armed group in 2015 and 2016, but with the rise of the West African branch of ISIS (ISIS), which was previously part of Boko Haram, the The army gave up many of its gains.
Now parts of the northeastern part of Africa’s most populous country and largest oil producer are out of government control, with soldiers huddled in defensive positions and regularly attacked by patrolling fighters.
Armed gangs have swept across northwestern Nigeria and kidnappers are patrolling many of the country’s roads.
In the Gulf of Guinea, where Nigeria’s offshore oil wealth is concentrated, piracy is on the rise.
The country is also grappling with a growing conflict over land and resources between predominantly Christian farmers and nomadic predominantly Muslim herders, in which thousands of people have died in recent years.