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Service chiefs get senate approval

31 January 2014, 10:43

Abuja - The Senate on Thursday in Abuja approved the appointments of the new Chief of Defence Staff and the service chiefs.

The confirmation followed the screening by the Joint Senate Committee on Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force and the adoption of the report by the Senate.

The committee was mandated by the Senate on Jan. 23 to screen the nominees and submit the report within one week.

The Senate Minority Leader, George Akume (APC- Benue), said that contrary to beliefs in some quarters, the APC was not against their appointment.

Akume said that the party was in full support of the appointments.

"I wish to state here that we at the other side are in full support of the appointments of Chief of Defence Staff and service chief,"Akume said

He urged the officers to work in line with democratic tenets and that they must see their appointments as service to their fatherland.

He also advised them to maintain peace and order where necessary irrespective of parties involved.

On his part, James Manager (PDP -Delta), said the new CDS and service chiefs were eminently qualified for the positions.

Manager implored them to live above board in the discharge of their new duties.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said that for the first time in Nigeria’s democratic history, appointments of service chiefs were subjected to legislative scrutiny as required by the constitution.

Ekweremadu enjoined the appointees to justify the confidence repose in them by discharging their duties appropriately.

It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had on Jan. 16, nominated, Air Marshal Alex Badeh as the new CDS to replace, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim. efence.

He also nomiated Maj. Gen Tobiah Minimah, as Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, as Chief of Naval Staff, and Vice Marshal Adesola Amosu,  as Chief of Air Staff.

They replaced Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, (COAS); Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, (CNS), and Badeh, who was elevated to CDS.

NAN also recalls that Jonathan had forwarded the names of the service chiefs to the Senate for confirmation.

The officers have since assumed duties in their new offices.

The Senate also deferred debate on the 2014 Appropriation Bill to another legislative day.

Debate on the budget began on Tuesday with most senators raising eyebrows over the wide margin between the capital expenditure to the recurrent, among other issues.

Most senators were of the opinion that the capital expenditure should have been 74 per cent while recurrent should have been 26 per cent and not the reverse.

Other areas of concern were the need for the country to replace western economic theories with home grown ones.

The senators stressed the need to compel revenue generating agencies to remit such funds to the federation account.



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