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Nigeria: President Tinubu reorganizes security apparatus

Nigeria: President Tinubu reorganizes security apparatus
Nigeria's President Bola Tinubu waves at guests from a motorcade during the his inauguration ceremony at the Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria on May 29, 2023.   -  
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KOLA SULAIMON/AFP or licensors


Nigerian President Bola Tinubu appointed new army and security chiefs on Monday evening, three weeks after his inauguration as the head of Africa's most populous country.

Bola Tinubu, 71, succeeded former president Muhammadu Buhari on 29 May. He was from the same party as Mr. Tinubu, but his eight years in power and a dramatic deterioration in the security situation have made his record highly contested.

Reshuffling the security apparatus after a change of president is common practice in Nigeria, which was marked by three decades of military dictatorship before returning to democracy in 1999.

On the day of his inauguration, President Tinubu promised to make security his "top priority" as Africa's largest economy faces a 14-year-old jihadist insurgency in the north-east, violence by criminal groups against a backdrop of communal tensions in the center and north-west, and separatist unrest in the south-east.

Mr. Tinubu made the appointments after dismissing all the chiefs and advisers of the military services, as well as the head of the national police and the head of the customs service, according to a press release issued by the presidency on Monday evening.

The most notable appointments were General C.G. Musa, previously in charge of the fight against the jihadist insurgency, as the new Chief of Army Staff, and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, a former anti-corruption official, as National Security Adviser.

In his three weeks in power, Mr. Tinubu has taken a series of strategic measures, particularly on the economic front, with a decision on his first day to end fuel subsidies.

Last week, he also dismissed the head of the country's central bank, Godwin Emefiele, who has since been arrested. He has also appointed a new anti-corruption chief.

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