Buhari appoints Ibrahim Attahiru, sacked for inefficiency in the fight against insurgents, as army chief of staff

By our reporter| Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, tapped by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday as the new chief of army staff, was once removed from his position as the theatre commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole in 2017, for inefficiency, six months after he was appointed.

According to reports, under his command, Boko Haram terrorists carried out daring operations with impunity.

Under his watch, the Boko Haram insurgents attacked the three north eastern states of Bornu, Yobe, and Adamawa, with Maiduguri, the capital of Bornu state bearing the brunt of the assaults even though it was heavily garrisoned at the time.

Following the spate of attacks, the immediate past chief of army staff command gave him a 40-day ultimatum in August 2017 to capture Abubakar Shekau, the factional leader of the Boko Haram sect.

Attahiru did not only fail in the assigned task, the insurgents, in fact, became more daring in their attacks as a group of geologists and technologists from the University of Maiduguri and the NNPC were ambushed by the terror group Boko at Magumeri area of Borno state, killing twelve soldiers who escorted the academics.

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In the weeks that followed, series of attacks were also carried out in Adamawa state, Yobe, and Maiduguri.

In Yobe for instance, two suicide bombers detonated their explosives in a market in Biu, killing about 18 people, in Maiduguri, four female suicide bombers, attacked Muna Gari, a suburb of Maiduguri, killing about 14 people, and in Yola, about 40 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a mosque.

A unit commander of the army and about 15 soldiers were killed in November when the insurgents attacked a military unit in Sassawa, Yobe state.

The last straw was the Biu market attack, in which 18 people died.

Buratai wasted no time in sacking Attahiru from the battle front, on 6 December, just after six months, from 31 May when he assumed the command.

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Attahiru had taken over the command as a replacement to Major General Leo Irabor, who went to command the Multinational Joint Task Force in Ndjamena, Chad.

Irabor is now the new Chief of Defence staff appointed by Buhari today.

Removed from the command in early December and replaced by Roger Nicholas, Attahiru was despatched to the army headquarters as deputy chief of policy and plans, a non-combatant post.

His last posting before he was appointed chief of army staff, was as GOC of 82 Division of Nigerian Army.


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