Meet Nigeria’s New War Chiefs

The army chief once sacked for incompetence is the one now lead our troops against the ongoing fight against Boko Haram.

Clockwise: Major-General Leo Irabor, Major-General I. Attahiru, Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo and Air-Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao.
Clockwise: Major-General Leo Irabor, Major-General I. Attahiru, Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo and Air-Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao.

Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff

Major General Leo Irabor, with Army number 8370, was born on October 5, 1965.

He is from Ika South of Delta State and he is a member of regular course 34 of the Nigerian Defence Academy.

The new CDS served as the Theatre Commander of the anti-terrorism war code name “Operation Lafiya Dole,” between March 2016 and May 2017.

Operation Lafiya Dole is the army group leading the onslaught against Boko Haram in the North East of Nigeria.

He was later appointed the commander of the Training and Doctrine Command of the Nigerian Army, TRADOC, Minna.

This was after a stint as Chief of Training and Operations, Defence headquarters

General Ibrihim Attahiru: Chief of Army Staff

Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, with Army Number 8406, was born on August 10, 1966.

He is from Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State and a member of the Regular Course 35 of the Nigerian Defence Academy.

Before his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff, he was the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu.

Incidentally, the new chief of army staff took over Major-General Leo Irabor as the Commander of “Operation Lafiya Dole,” in May 2017.

He was however, sacked six months later in December 2017 ostensibly for failing in the fight against insurgency in the North East, though unconfirmed reports had it that his sack was due rivalry between him and Tukur Buratai, who feared that Attahiru was being primed as his replacement.

Well, the army chief once sacked for incompetence is the one nowlead our troops against the ongoing fight against Boko Haram.

Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo: Chief of Navy Staff

Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo was born on 22 April, 1966 and hails from Nasarawa LGA in Kano State.

He enlisted into the Nigerian Navy on 24 September, 1984 as a member of Regular Course 36 and was commissioned Sub-Lieutenant on 24 September, 1988.

He is an Underwater Warfare specialist with a subspecialisation in Intelligence. The senior officer has attended several military courses which include, Sub-Technical course and Officers Long course both at NNS QUORRA.

He also attended Junior Division 48/89 and Senior Course 26 both at AFCSC Jaji.

The new CNS has occupied a number high level position in the Nigerian Military service, including Director of Search and Rescue Defence Headquarters and Chief Staff Officer Naval Training Command, among others.

He was promoted from Commodore to his present rank or rear Admiral in December 2016.

Until his recent appointment as the CNS, he was the Director of Procurement at the Defence Space Administration.

Air-Vice Marshal Isiaka O. Amao, Chief of Air Staff

The new Air Chief is an indigene of Osogbo in Osun State.

Until his appointment, Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao was the Commandant of the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Oshodi, Lagos State.

He was born on September 14, 1965 in Enugu and enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on 19 Jan 1984 as a member of 35 NDA Regular Course.

In December 1986, he was commissioned as Pilot Officer.

A fighter pilot, Amao has also participated in various operations which include Draw Down of AFISMA operation in Mali from Aug 2013 – January 14, operation ZAMAN LAFIYA from 20 February – 19 July 15 and operation LAFIYA DOLE (North East operations) from 19 July 15 – 16 February 16.

He has been decorated with the Forces Service Star (FSS), Meritorious Service Star (MSS), Distinguished Service Star (DSS), General Service Medal (GSM), River Benue Star (RBS), among others.

Air-Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao is married to Elizabeth Olubunmi Amao with three children.

He likes reading, dancing, travelling, playing golf and fish farming.

Written by The Interview Editors

The Interview is a niche publication, targeting leaders and aspiring leaders in business, politics, entertainment, sports, arts, the professions and others within society’s upper middle class and high-end segment in Nigeria.