Following the extension of his tenure by an additional one year by President, Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Abayomi Olonisakin has resumed duties at Defence headquarters.
General Olonisakin would have retired from service after 35 years on the 20th of December 2016 but weeks to his retirement, the media published that he had been retired and asked to hand over command to somebody else, a development that was said to have backfired.
It was gathered that before the President ordered that General Olonisakin’s tenure be extended by one year last December, the CDS had commenced the evacuation of his personal effect and belongings from the office.
“He had no inkling that the tenure would be extended even though Mr. President has the prerogative to decide on such extension as provided for in Law” a source said.
Olonisakin, who was the Commandant of the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) of the Nigerian Army in Niger State before his appointment as CDS on Buhari’s assumption of office as President, was at one time, the Commander, Nigerian Army Signals Corps and also served as the Principal General Staff Officer to a former Defence Minister among several other appointments.
A presidency source while confirming the extension last December had said the action of Mr. President showed divine intervention in the affairs of men noting that some persons had already concluded how offices in the military will be shared, notwithstanding that promotions and appointment has the backing of God.
When the publication purporting the removal of the CDS and the Chief of Naval Staff last December broke out, Defence minister, Mansur Dan Ali had issued a statement debunking reports that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin has been retired and that his position has been handed over to the Chief of Air staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
The statement read, “The attention of the of the Minister of Defence, Mansur Mohammad Dan Ali was drawn to some media publication claiming that he has sent letters to the Chief of Defence staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin and the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas directing them to hand over their offices on or before Friday.”