The military high command has decided to restore established command structure and yesterday agreed to subordinate themselves to the leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor.
The body of service chiefs affirmed that it was, by the decision, following global military convention where the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) is responsible for the command and control of the entire Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, who made the disclosure in Makurdi, Benue State capital, said by the decision, all ongoing joint operations and joint task forces were directly subordinated to the DHQ and their commanders’ report directly to the CDS.
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and other sister services have agreed to subordinate themselves to the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) under the abled leadership of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor,” he said.
The last military leadership faced the challenge of disharmony and lack of coordination among them, causing the services to take independent decisions which stoked rivalry.
A statement issued by the Spokesman of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said Air Marshal Amao made this known in Makurdi while on his maiden tour of Tactical Air Command (TAC).
The decision, he said, “is the new line the service chiefs have all agreed to tow as efforts are on to bring the various security challenges to an end.
“When we say we are members of the AFN, we mean the three services represent a single entity. When we accept the fact that we the members of the AFN constitute a united entity, the need for rivalry will not arise,” he said.
Air Marshal Amao also spoke of his administration’s resolve to revert to the military tradition of adherence to seniority and hierarchy in the appointment of officers to head command posts.
“Situations where subordinate officers are given command appointments ahead of their seniors does not augur well for the system as this breeds insubordination and indiscipline,” he said.
Speaking on discipline, Air Marshal Amao stated that there would be no sacred cows when it comes to discipline as those found wanting would be punished as prescribed in the Armed Forces Act.
He also spoke of the impending arrival of some platforms purchased for the NAF to Makurdi and urged personnel to support the 131 Engineering Group, being the hub of some of the platforms, as well as make the foreign technicians feel at home.
The air chief said the platforms, when fully operational would be deployed immediately to the theatres of operations and should hopefully be the game changers in all DHQ led operations nationwide.
The CAS also stated that efforts were underway to improve the combat efficiency of the NAF and other services to an appreciable level and these efforts have the full backing of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Amao enjoined NAF personnel to continue to support the federal government in its efforts to equip the NAF and other services.
Personnel welfare also got a boost as the CAS assured that non-promotion of NAF personnel due to inability to attend courses that should enable their upgrading would be given special consideration as soon as they meet the criteria set for the promotion. On NAF post service housing schemes, the CAS frowned at the situation where personnel were compelled and put under financial duress just to meet up with initial deposits for the houses.
According to him, “housing schemes by the NAF should be easily affordable and stress-free”.
He directed the Chief of Administration to work out modalities where payment for houses would be deducted from monthly salaries and not in lump sums that usually exert undue pressure on personnel. “These practices have proven to be effective and efficient in other developing countries and I see no reason why we can’t try it here”, he said.
The visit, which had the Chiefs of Training and Operations, Logistics, Air Intelligence and Aircraft Engineering in attendance, saw the CAS tour various units within TAC Makurdi.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, yesterday received the first shot of Covid-19 vaccine in his office.
A statement issued by Army Spokesman, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, said a number of principal staff officers at the Headquarters including the Chief of Policy and Plans, Chief of Army Administration and Director of Army Public Relations equally took the first dose of the vaccine.
The vaccination of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff against the dreaded Covid-19 was witnessed by a cross-section of defence correspondents.
The army chief enjoined officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army and indeed the general public to endeavor to be vaccinated.
He thanked the federal government for making the Covid-19 vaccination possible in the country.