New Defence Minister Begins Work, Faults Minimah

New Defence Minister Begins Work, Faults Minimah

Brigadier General (rtd) Monsur Dan-Ali, the new minister of defence, revisited the President Muhammadu Buhari’s certificate scandal yesterday, November 13.

Speaking when he assumed duty at the Ministry of Defence, Abuja, Dan-Ali criticised the immediate past chief of army staff, Lt-Gen. Kenneth Minimah (rtd) and the Nigerian Army under him for not showing respect for Buhari during his WAEC certificate controversy before the 2015 general election, This Day reports.

New Defence Minister Begins Work, Faults Minimah

He said: “Where is your integrity when your own Chief of Army Staff (Minimah) stood up and said his Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (sic) has no WAEC. How? Please let us be sincere with ourselves. Because you should have stood up and said ‘no’; because you were there, you could not. If you leave the job, is it the end of your life? If you leave the job there are other ways; better ways God can bless your life."

During the Buhari certificate saga preceding the 2015 elections, Buhari claimed that his original WAEC certificate was with the military authorities but the military denied it.

The new defence minister described the president as man of integrity who had clearly and openly shown that he was ready to fight the insurgency in Nigeria.

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"Gentlemen, the military is all about leadership. The President is a military man and he had shown leadership. Whether you like it or not, the President is a military man and he has shown leadership. We, the followers must show leadership. And what is leadership if I may ask? Leadership is all about integrity, honesty and transparency,” he said.

He therefore called on the men of the armed forces to imbibe the spirit of integrity, honesty and transparency in their work.

Dan-Ali assured the officers that he would improve military welfare, as well as resolve the nagging problem of troops' rotation, especially those involved in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against the Boko Haram sect in the north-east.

On the issue of the current wave of pro-Biafra agitation in parts of the south-east of the country, the defence minister said it may escalate and constitute a threat to national unity if it is not checked.

He urged the federal government in collaboration with stakeholders to brainstorm and come up with a roadmap in order to abort any processes that may destabilize the nation.

Buhari's ministers were inaugurated on Wednesday, November 11 and they are expected to begin work promptly as to aid the president to deliver the promised change.

According to sources, Buhari considered six factors in assigning portfolios to the ministers. They are security reports, less exposure to politics, priority on expertise and performance, continuing investigations of some appointees and dislike for lobbying and media profiling by some appointees.


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