Thursday’s sack of three out of the four Service Chiefs by President Goodluck Jonathan has apparently not gone down well with Igbo youths, who viewed the development as an act of marginalization against the South East geo-political zone.
The youths are particularly irked that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, who hails from the region, was among those removed from office, saying the move was a calculated attempt aimed at alienating the Igbo race from the scheme of things.
The Youth Wing of Ohaneze Ndigbo, while kicking against the appointment of new Service Chiefs, called on the National Assembly to reject same as it lacked federal character.
According to a statement by the presidency yesterday, which announced the sweeping changes, Air Marshal Alex Badeh from Adamawa State takes over from Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim as Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General Kenneth Minimah from Rivers State takes over from Lt.-General Azubike Ihejirika as Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin from Kogi State takes over from Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Adesola Amosu from Lagos State takes over from Air Marshal Badeh as Chief of Air Staff.
Speaking in the same vein, the Federated Council of Igbo Youths, FCIY, frowned at what it described as a planned attempt to put the Igbo nation in the back seat by the current administration and called on Ndigbo to resist the ongoing alienation of the race.
Reacting to the new appointments, the National Publicity Secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, wondered why in all the new appointments made, there was no person from the South-East considered worthy by President Jonathan to occupy any of the positions.
Information Nigeria reports that Ihejirika, who was first appointed by President Jonathan in 2010, is the first military officer from the South East to be made Chief of Army Staff since 1966, when Major-General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi was the General Officer Commanding, GOC, of the Nigerian Army.