Nigeria military chiefs brief Buhari on Gambia operations

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, met behind closed doors with service chiefs, before his departure to London on a 10-day vacation.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, a general, said the service chiefs updated the president on the country’s military operations at home and abroad.

He said they specifically briefed him on the involvement of Nigerian troops in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Standby Force for the Gambian crisis.

“The meeting was to give Mr. President an update on our operations within and outside the country especially our involvement in the ECOWAS Standby Force that is being inducted into Senegal so that the mandate of Gambia’s President-Elect is respected and sworn in.’’

Mr. Olonishakin said the operational mandate of the Nigerian Army in the ECOWAS Standby Force was in line with the decision of the Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS with regard to the mandate of Gambia’s President-elect, Adama Barrow.

He assured that the Nigerian Army would ensure that the decision of the people of the Gambia was respected.

Answering a question about his vacation, President Muhammadu Buhari said there was nothing new about it.

The president, who was about boarding the presidential jet en route London, reminded journalists that at about the same time in 2016, he had gone on holiday.

“What’s wrong with going on vacation? Didn’t I go last year at the same time?’’ he asked.

Femi Adesina, the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, also told the correspondents that the Mr. Buhari was going to rest.

“You know that God did work of creation for six days and on the seventh day he rested. So if God needed to rest how much more human being.

“So the president is just going to rest and the statement we have released is straight forward. He will go on this leave and during the leave he will do routine medical checkups.

“We need to show good will towards our leaders particularly President Muhammadu Buhari who is working to give Nigeria a new footing, a new orientation.

“Nothing absolutely to worry about but a lot of good will, a lot of prayers are necessary at all times,” he said.


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  • Sword of Damocles

    Meanwhile, same government is trampling Freedom of speech here in Nigeria. Arresting PT’s editor while claiming to bring democracy & rule of law to Gambia? Our ruling elites are something else. Western countries need to look at what this government DOES, rather than WHAT IT SAYS (it knows all the catchphrases to placate western concerns about autocratic governance). Imagine the army chief of Staff of the US Army causing the editor of the NY times to be arrested over newspaper coverage of the armed forces. No be so? na so… Naija style, that why we always take first yeah???

    • Gary

      You know that it will never even cross the mind of a lower rank soldier much less the COAS of the US.
      By the time anyone reaches that level to be considered for that position, he would have amassed a resume with experience and education in War Studies comparable to that of a doctorate degree holder.

      Some of our so-called Generals won’t make Colonel in the US Army. They are actually taught by lower-ranking officers when they go abroad for training.

      • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

        Some of our so-called Generals won’t make Colonel in the US Army. They are actually taught by lower-ranking officers when they go abroad for training. Lol.. How did you guess so well?

      • Otile

        In Afghanistan Buratai can’t make it past the rank of a Sgt Major. If he stole procurement money to buy houses in Dubai he would suffer amputation of the hand. Afghans don’t joke with their military, a rumor about theft or rape would earn him court marshal. If he escapes and runs to Uzbekistan they will place fatwa on his head.

    • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

      A shame isnt it…

  • AFRICANER

    Nigeria is a colony of Britain, especially with a mumu president like Buhari.

    How could he go on a 10 day vacation to Britain, medical or not, how many times has the British Prime Minister or Quen of England vacayed in Nigeria?

    Nigeria is a complete waste!

    • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

      how many times has the British Prime Minister or Queen of England vacated in Nigeria? you too much. Good question.

      • musa aliyu

        How many things have U put in order that will necessitate the British prime minister to vacate in ur clime?

        • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

          That one is left to you guys that support the Biafra war participants generation and Military rule Generation (born pre 1960 to 1975) in Politics. Below are things you guys need to put in order
          1) Eradicate our traditional ruler culture. reason for this is to put an end to the zero intellectual massive negative influence of the likes of Emirs and sultan on my northern brother s and sisters, and also that of the minor influences of the trad rulers of the south on their subjects. Let people think and vote a candidate for themselves.
          2) Stop Retired Nigerian Armed forces officers from ever seeing any political office for another 200 years. in 200 years they would at that time have evolved enough in understanding the rule of law.
          3) place massive tax on luxury. If you buy a third car and so on etc you pay 2x for insurance, tax, vehicle papers, vat, import duty. so that would end the need for flamboyant lifestyle living and thus end the need to live above salary which is the reason for corruption and stealing.
          4) Go on nationwide protest (higher than the scale of the subsidy removal protest)and demand the police budget is increased to equal that spent on defence and remove the police from the presidency and place them under no one but the civilian Oversight agency for the police. Now competent, qualified, incorruptible, intellectual and patriotic people would now find the Police interesting to serve in.

  • emmanuel

    Why is PT lying like this? Why are you people so good at propaganda? How can service chiefs meet Buhari at the Airport to brief him on military engagement in foreign land? …and you say behind closed doors because you know people like me will ask for photos. This story is not true at all. Buhari met with no one. Perhaps spoke on phone with them, and I even doubt it. A man so sick will not have strength to speak.

    …and PT has refused to mention the current crisis currently going on and discussed in other impartial news media regarding Buhari’s refusal to seek Senate approval/concurrence before sending troops to Gambia as required by 1999 constitution. He just sent troops and equipment by “order”. Haba! This is domoncrazy! …and guess what, this breach is IMPEACHABLE!

    It is gradually becoming clear even to pundits that it is very important to have someone who passed WAEC in presidency so that we can be sure that the person can read and comprehend a constitution at the very least.

    • musa aliyu

      But U too didn’t provide us with picture of his “so sick”. How do we believe U?

    • Iskacountryman

      by the time he got to the airport, he was no longer in charge having previously handed over to the vp…

  • Otile

    So Femi Adesina is a theologian too. We thought he was a bablowo nla. Olori Adeshina a gbe yin o.

    • muazu wali

      His quote was inappropriate, because Muslims including President Buhari do not believe that God rested on the sixth day. The Qur’an tells us that “Neither slumber nor sleep over takes Him.” Rest therefore do not arise. Again the Qur’an further tells us that “His Kursi (dominian) extends over the heavens and the earth and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them” ( Verse -2:255). Here again the issue of rest dies not arise.

      • Otile

        Indeed you have a good point here. I never heard or thought of this before.

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    President Muhammadu Buhari,s decision along with other West African leaders to remove the Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, from the Gambian villa after twenty two years rein by Nigerian-troops and Senegalese troops is the right decision that will go a long way to restore democracy in Gambia, and promote democracy in African continent.

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  • Rommel

    Fact checks-
    Our fact-check on which president took more vacation — George W. Bush or Barack Obama — remains one of our most popular fact-checks with readers. Given the Obama’s family’s summer vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., we thought it was time to look at the numbers again.

    The question is drawing special attention this year because the Obamas’ time away came during a period that included unrest in Ferguson, Mo., the launch of U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic extremist group ISIS, the beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS, and the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa.

    CBS White House reporter Mark Knoller is the unofficial but widely trusted chronicler of data on presidential travels and other day-to-day White House goings-on, so we turned to his calculations.

    On Aug. 8, 2014, Knoller tweeted that Obama had taken 19 vacations totaling 125 days so far while in office. Those numbers have risen a bit due to the Martha’s Vineyard vacation, but that’s still many fewer than George W. Bush’s 65 combined trips to his Texas ranch and his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine, which totaled 407 days at the same point in his presidency.

    Not included in this data are trips to the Camp David presidential retreat in western Maryland, which Knoller doesn’t count as “vacation.” Knoller told Yahoo! News that, through Aug. 12, 2014, Obama had made 33 visits to Camp David for all or part of 84 days, while Bush had been there 108 times for all or part of 341 days.

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  • Iskacountryman

    idiots…rushing into war without thinking…can you see these fools briefing a sick man who has handed over power about an operation whose complexities he cannot grab…