“The President has relieved the service chiefs, including the heads of the army, air force and navy of their appointments”, media outlets quoted spokesman Femi Adesina as saying on Monday.
Speaking separately to State House correspondents after closed-door meetings with the president, Umahi said said the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would stand by Buhari in his administration’s war against graft even as Anyaoku described the president’s desire to fight corruption as real, noting that Nigeria would come out the better for it.
Addressing his new hires right after their appointments, Buhari told them that they had earned their positions based on merit and charged them to help him rebuild the Nigerian Army’s reputation.
Buhari, a former general, made ending the Boko Haram insurgency one of his top campaign promises while running for election this year.
The outgoing officials were Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh; the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Kenneth Minimah; the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Adesola Amosu, a presidential spokesman said.
Nigeria’s military has been widely criticized as corrupt and ineffectual in its fight against Boko Haram.
According to the Nigerian online news outlet Sahara Reports, a Boko Haram attack on the outskirts of Monguno, also in Borno State, claimed the lives of “more than 45 people” on Monday.
At least 12 people were killed, according to a second military source and a bus driver from the village who counted the bodies. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai and National Security Adviser Maj. Buhari also appointed a new chief of defense intelligence and national security advisor.
His time in the post also saw Boko Haram overrun vast tracts of northeastern Nigeria, capturing towns and villages and even proclaiming a self-styled caliphate.
The attack in Maiduguri again demonstrated the difficulty of combating Boko Haram’s guerrilla-style tactics, as bomber detonated his explosives in a crowd of passengers undergoing identity and screening checks, civilian vigilantes said.
However, the early decisions have not had the desired results as Boko Haram has significantly stepped up its attacks with a spate of suicide bombings across the country.
Boko Haram, newly renamed the Islamic State West Africa Province after pledging allegiance to ISIS head terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has increased the frequency and intensity of attacks in the past two months not just in Nigeria, but in neighboring Niger and Chad.