Buhari opens up on why he extends service chiefs’ tenure


President Muhammadu Buhari has explained that he has not changed the nation’s security chiefs in order to avoid “competition within the service”.

Buhari said this in a recorded interview that was aired by Arise TV Monday night, disclosing that he “has to be very careful because you don’t know [the] ambition of the ones coming up”.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Yusufu Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-EteIkwe Ibas; and the Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Baba Abubakar, have had their tenures extended twice.

Buhari stated that the performance of the service chiefs may be disappointing but he takes responsibility for not changing them.

His words, “My understanding of security is that, when you have a case of emergency, you have to be careful, with tampering with the head of services. This is again one of my personal experiences. I have been a governor, I have been a minister, I have been a head of state, I came back, I tried to come back to this office three times but lucky on the fourth time.

“I am measuring the options critically, when you have a case of emergency, if you don’t wait for an appropriate time to do it, then you create competition within the service, there are so many ambitious people waiting, only one man can be chief of army staff in the army, only one man can be the inspector-general of police. Don’t forget that it was this administration that appointed all the three.”

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