The presidency has denied a news report that President Muhammad Buhari has approved the replacement of Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as Service Chiefs.
Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said the report was “not completely true”.
He however admitted that the defence chief was stepping down.
“The newspaper, rather than rush to print an unsubstantiated story, would have done better to confirm the information at its disposal, from many available military and government information channels. It then would have avoided the self-inflicted wound of publishing a one-legged story that is not completely true, and damaging its brand in the process.
“Gen Olonisakin is due to retire from the Army next week, having satisfied the official number of years in service. He is yet to be replaced. But the Chief of Naval Staff has a short while more, and President Buhari could, therefore, not have approved his replacement yet.”
Adesina said the administration had repeatedly pledged commitment to transparency and accountability, and one of the hallmarks of that is making information available to the media.
“But when some sections of the media would rather speculate, than cross-check and double check information, then it borders on deliberate mischief. That, surely, is not the way to go, for national cohesion and development,” he said.