The Presidency has announced the appointment of the Vice Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim as the new Chief of Defence Staff. A Regular Course 17 officer, Vice Admiral Sa’ad enlisted in the Nigerian Armed Forces in December 1974. Until his appointment, he was Chief of the Naval Staff, a position in which his clear articulation of the equipment needs of the Nigerian Navy has seen the service positioned to receive an unprecedented number of oceangoing vessels and coastal patrol craft.

In a related development which clearly signposts the President’s confidence in his competent handling of the multipronged insurgencies, Lt General Onyeabo Ihejirika has been reappointed Chief of Army Staff. This is an unprecedented development which has not happened since the time between 1985 and 1990 when General Sani Abacha served as COAS.

Ihejirika’s robust reponse to the Boko Haram challenge, particularly the massive retraining of personnel in the intricacies of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations in an army which, regardless of having piled on a rich repertoir of experience in counterinsurgency and urban warfare from a string of long-term campaigns in Liberia and Sierra Leone, was ill-prepared for the strange and added dimension of terrorism manifesting as IED blasts and suicide bombings.

Under Lt.General Ihejirika’s watch, the Army has speedily and remarkably readjusted to new realities. This has chiefly been achieved through the 3-4 week Basic CTCOIN Proficiency Training Course centred around hostage rescue, house clearing, Fighting in Built-Up Areas, Close Quarter Combat, ambush defeat, among others. Only last month, and to add to the output from the Jaji and Kachia centres for the training of CTCOIN troops, the Nigerian Army Training Centre at Kontagora was declared open with an initial turnover of 1,952 troops trained in CTCOIN operations for seven weeks.

Entirely new to the board as service chiefs are Rear Admiral Dele Jerome Ezeoba who assumes the position of Chief of the Naval Staff and Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh who becomes Chief of the Air Staff.

Ezeoba is a highly competent officer of Delta State origin (an Ibusa native), who has lately served as a branch chief at the Naval and Defence HQs respectively. He once chaired a Presidential Committee on maritime security which produced a blueprint for the response to security challenges such as illegal bunkering and piracy. He is probably the best person other than his predecessor, who can be trusted to steer the ongoing flurry of naval acquisitions to fruition. Ezeoba is known to be a firm believer in the inevitability of platforms’ acquisition as a way out of the maritime security challenges facing the nation and was a guest speaker at the OPV Conference in Singapore last year.

Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh who has been appointed Chief of the Air Staff used to be a branch chief at NAF HQ until mid-year 2012 when he was appointed Air Officer Commanding, Training Command. He oversaw the NAF Air Expo 2012 during his time as a branch chief at NAF HQ.

As is customary, a rash of promotions commensurate to their new command appointments can be expected, with the new Chief of Defence rising to four-star admiralty while the new Chiefs of Naval and Air Staff shall be promoted to the rank of three-star general. It is yet unclear but is most likely that Lt General Ihejirika,a RC 18 officer who enlisted in June 1975, shall also get elevated to the rank of four-star general. That has not been the practice in a Nigerian Army where the sole 3-star general within the regular army structure, going back to 1987, has always been the Chief of Army Staff.

But Ihejirika is a man of many firsts already and as such, his elevation to the rank of four-star general whilst serving as COAS would only represent another first.

Congratulations to the very senior officers. The retention of the duo of Admiral Ibrahim and General Ihejirika represents a very accurate reading of what their performance on the job, as clearly stated on this blog, has been.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
This entry was posted in GLOBAL DEFENCE NEWS, NIGERIA, RISK ANALYSIS, SECURITY ISSUES AND CONCERNS, TERRORISM, Uncategorized, WEST AFRICAN STANDBY FORCE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. makanaky says:

    Thank you Mr President, this is good and based on performance of the various service chiefs now appointed. Nigerians serving with determination and purpose are now being rewarded as opposed to ethnicity which has always bring failures and down fall.
    Above all experience which is very vital is not lost, my only fear is that some “Born to rule” individuals will now start questioning the rationale and intensify their quest using BH and they shall be crushed ! this is our country,we dont have another one,we shall fight with our blood to protect it

  2. gbash10 says:

    This is good news to us all,we hope this appointments will speed up the transformation of our armed forces to a modern fighting force.
    Next,we are expecting our new defence minister.
    The new chief of air staff,CAS,is he a fighter ,helicopter or transport pilot?
    Congratulation to the service chiefs on their appointment by Mr President!

  3. jimmy says:

    This is very good news for the army, navy, and air force. Meritocracy finally as should be the case
    has ruled i will expand later @work now.

  4. beegeagle says:



    Vice Admiral Ola Sa`ad Ibrahim was born on 15 June 1955. A graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna and the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, he trained with the Royal and Indian navies. He had tours of duty on Nigerian Naval Ships in various capacities.

    Vice Admiral Ibrahim is a Navigation and Direction specialist and wears the Command at Sea Badge for successful command at sea on various Nigerian Naval Ships.

    Vice Admiral Ibrahim was a Directing Staff and a Chief Instructor respectively at the Department of Maritime Warfare, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji. He holds the Bachelor of Laws Degree from Ahmadu Bello University. He was secretary to the Chief of the Naval Staff before being appointed to command the naval operations base, Nigerian Naval Ship BEECROFT in 2001.

    Admiral Ibrahim was at the Royal College of Defence Studies, UK as a member in 2002, where he, in addition obtained a Masters Degree from the Department of War Studies and Public at the King`s College University of London.

    On his return, he was appointed as the Commander Naval Task Group, OPERATION HARMONY in the Eastern Naval Command, Calabar, before he came to the National Defence College Nigeria as a Directing Staff in 2003. He left the National Defence College for the Naval Headquarters as Navy Secretary in August 2005.

    He returned to the College as Director Curriculum and Programmes Development in May 2006. It was this appointment that he headed back to the Naval Headquarters as Chief of Administration and subsequently Chief of Training and Operations.

    In February 2009, he was appointed as the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, the appointment he held till his appointment as Chief of the Naval Staff on 8 September 2010.

    Vice Admiral Ibrahim is happily married with children and his hobbies include jogging, reading, photography and dialectics.

  5. Henry says:

    Nice piece by OGA beeg, when I heard that VICE-ADMIRAL ola sa’ad had gotten the job of chief of defence staff instead of LT.GEN iheijirika, I knew that there was no way that COAS won’t be retained. The new chief of defence staff virtually transformed the navy, though he did not initiate, he saw to / prioritised the project that lead to nigeria getting our first seaward defence boat, and not to forget that another seaward defence boat built in nigeria is due to be delivered next year.

    Let us also not forget that 2 OPV’s are to be delivered to the navy soon, with 50% of the second OPV to be built in nigeria. With more helicopters also to be delivered to the navy’s air arm. What this tells us is that ola sa ad understands the need for nigeria to grow it’s domestic defence industry, to save both cost and to develop local knowledge.

    There is no doubt that he and COAS ihejierika were the stars of the past service chiefs, who in my opinion have been one of the best crops of servicemen the nation has seen since independence, I dare to say if not the best. If you dis agree go look up the records, you’ll see that I’m not far from the truth. To radical build service man who are able to step up to the unique and contemporary challenges brought up by terrorism under 1-year and 9months despite havn’t even heard of the word terrorism before then, tells a lot about the competence of the men in charge. Also not forgetting Umar the CAS who has done / did a good with the airforce.

  6. Spirit. says:

    PON ( President of Nigeria) knows a hardworking/brilliant man when he sees one. I and everybody on this forum have been watching what Admiral Ola has been doing for the past 2 years. The man is just TOO HOT TO HANDLE, TOO COLD TO HOLD! He has accelerated the pace at which the Navy is beeing transformed. If he had been around during Shagari’s tenure, he would have gunned for a carrier! He is a Goldfish, he has no place to hide. I am sure Admirals Afolayan and Fakeye will be so glad and proud of what their successor has done. Ola S’aad has done the impossible!.
    A lot of Navy guys are wondering if Rear Admiral DJ Ezeoba will be able to influence the FGN and continue the acquisition at the same pace. Well, I will not be able to comment on that. I just hope and pray that he ( DJ Ezeoba) is ready to step into Ola Saad’s shoes, which in my opinion is A VERY BIG PAIR OF SHOES!. I advise him to spend the next Couple of weekends at Saad’s house to learn the tricks (is it “jazz”?) that Saad used to achieve so much within so short a time.
    (1) Creation of Central Command.
    (2) Acquisition of NNS Thunder
    (3) Creation of ( is it six?) FOBs
    (4) Ordering of 2 Chinese OPVs one of which will be partly constructed in Nigeria.
    (5) Commissioning of the first made in Nigeria warship NNS Andoni.
    (6) Full Mobiliasation of NNSBS.
    (7) Creation of JMSTC.
    (8) Acquisition of many patrol boats and other smaller ships (accurately reported by Beegeagle blog)
    (9) Routine arrest of Oil bunkers ships and effective patrol of our EEZ with the NN meager resources.
    (10) Overall improvement in the morale,effectiveness and efficiency of the Navy.
    (11) Improvement in the public perception of the NN to such an extent that THE FEAR OF THE NAVY has become THE BEGGINING OF WISDOM for pirates.

    The list dey long o!

    Wellcome aboard Rear Admiral DJ Ezeoba, may your road be as rough as that of your predecessor, may you surpass his achievement , and may you find favor with Neptune.

    • wocon45 says:

      I say amen…although i also think Neptune might have relegated Nigerian duties to Shango and Egbesu….u know na.. considering the distance 😉

  7. Spirit. says:

    Of Lt Gen Ihejirika, what more is there to say? Apart from PON, he happens to be sitting on the hottest seat in Nigeria. And the manner in which he has risen to the occasion is really commendable. This man has practically saved GEJs presidency! Small wonder Mr President doesn’t want to move him ( aside other considerations). One only needs to listen to the radio, watch the TV on go online to learn of arrests/killing of Boko Harams. He has turned the table on them!

    A few of his achievement are;
    (1) Rapid and large scale training/retraining of troops in CTCOIN warfare.
    (2) Equipment modernization.
    (3) Conversion of NDCDC into a fighting force.
    (4) First made in Nigeria APC (Igirigi).
    (5) Improved welfare of Nigeria soldiers at all levels.
    (6) Construction of accommodation/barracks on massive scale.
    (7) Standardisation of Bodyarmour as part of the kit for an average soldier.
    (8) Proliferation of APCs in NAs inventory.
    (9) Winning the WOT(War on Terror).
    (10) Creation of additional Special Forces/Warfare Units

    He has BH connered as can be seen by the daily reports of arrest and decimation of BH’s ranks. Let him finish the job.

    The decision to retain him is a very good one. More power to your elbow sir.

  8. wocon45 says:

    Una well doneooo!

  9. Ademola says:

    I predict ltgen ihejerika is going to be nigerias first field marshall.

  10. Ademola says:

    I predict ltgen ihejerika is going to become a field marshall.

  11. jimmy says:

    Reading the tea leaves
    G.E.J, has staked his personal presidency of the C.D.S. The implication of this is profound
    1) Nigeria will build more of it’s own ships ( locally)
    2) Dust that 10 year strategic plan of under the column of SUBMARINES pay close attention because this will happen
    3) Procurement whether it is for the Navy , Army or Air-force will be based on how much can be locally sourced.
    Lt General Onyeabo Ihejirika :
    Next to the C.D.S the Re appointed and definitely soon to be promoted to General has the confidence of the president
    1) Like POTUS OBAMA , PON JONATHAN clearly believes in COIN operations I no longer worry whether their will be a physically located H.Q. COIN DIVISION this due to the explicit confidence showed in him means this is inevitable . I predict they h.q. just outside Abuja .
    2) Nigeria will buy more modern Tanks, more APCs and more Helios.Because he has the confidence of the president he will ask for and receive a fast track on the funds for the purchase of an assembly line for the Nigerian made APC.
    3)There will be six newly promoted LT . Generals so as to relieve and (break) the glass ceiling.
    Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh:
    1) This is the guy who is ON THE HOT SEAT, he has to convince G.E.J. that the confidence that G.E.J founded in him is well founded where he is from is completely irrelevant he could of come from the last border town in Borno State POTSKOUM? He has to convince the president that he needs to spend between $150m – $200m to buy a complete new squadron of aircraft i.e the SU 27/ SU30 .
    2) The Amebo project will go forward as I said PON likes/loves COIN ops look for production of more upgraded drones with the Air-force pushing harder.
    3) More training for more Air force personnel is inevitable I look for him to ask for(and get) the speedy upgrade repair and maintenance of the C-130s .
    4) I predict he will be more aggressive than his predecessor (Umar) I also predict the next Air Force expo will be much better than the last two
    GEJ :
    These were very careful picks and for the first time Nigeria has witnessed the changing/ retention of the Most senior officers of the tri-services without regard to ethnic balancing whatsoever just based on Meritocracy.
    This week we on this blog got a statement from GEJ that if he truly follows through on his pledge to really commit and strengthen the armed forces the next two years (till 2015) should look similar to the years of Shagari- like purchases. Again I want to be cautious and” look before I leap ” The statement in question is that of GEJ saying there is a need to SECURE MORE FUNDS extra budgetary for the armed forces.Also G.E.J should be given credit where credit is due he has marked himself as being involved in building more new barracks and welfare packages in two years as president than the previous presidents combined.

  12. to4shizzle says:

    If for nothing else Security and Power GEJ has tried if he finishes it up with Corruption then we have a Winner! But I must commend Mr Jonathan though I have been a candid critic of his administration, I have stressed the need to have an extra budget for Defense and Military causes only and now well it has or will come to pass what we need are sterner weapons and heavy investments in Research and Development, ICT,communication and command and control if we invest in Satellite and Network Communication we have a force that can respond to any and every form of danger.

  13. Thnk you mr president for the appointed ola sa’ad ibrahim as a new chief of naval staff it’s good you have done mr president god bless you we need to change new chief of army staff mr president goodluck ebele jonathan gud bye hahaha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s