ABUJA, 26 January 2021 – President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday fired all heads of the Nigerian army, sending a tweet out with the names of their replacements.
The Nigerian leader gave no reason for sacking the chiefs of army chief whom he appointed upon coming to power in 2015.
It is unclear what finally got Buhari to act given that he has long ignored calls for him to dump the same senior security officials.
The firing swept away the chiefs of the air force, the army, navy as well as the chief of defense staff.
The positions have usually had a rapid turnover, with most chiefs serving in their position for only an average two-to-three years.
The chiefs fired Tuesday have served the longest uinterrupted tenures in their positions ever since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999.
Observers and diplomats in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, speculated Tuesday that the dismissals must have to do with the failure of the country’s armed and security forces to improve security and end rampant kidnappings and violence from Boko Haram insurgents.
Buhari has come under fire himself for being unable to address the Boko Haram raids.
The Nigerian leader was personally called out and blamed for kidnappings of hundreds of schoolboys and girls in boarding schools in the president’s own state of origin.
Buhari has also been blamed for failing to act decisively in tackling violence attrcibuted to Fulani herdsmen, seen as his clansmen.