IMO State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has claimed that the South East region has not produced any service chief in the last ten years until President Bola Ahmed Tinubu came to power after winning Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election.
“We talk of inclusiveness. I come from the Southeastern part of the country. I can tell you this, for the last ten years, we are having one of the service chiefs who come from the South East: the Chief of Naval staff. That has given a sense of belonging to the people of South East (sic),” Uzodimma said during the programme.
Emmanuel Ogala is the current Nigeria’s Chief of Naval Staff (CNS). He is from Ezike Igbo Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State and was appointed by President Tinubu in June 2023.
In Nigeria, there is no service chief from the Southeast region in the last 10 years.
Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is TRUE.
Two presidents have ruled Nigeria in the last 10 years before Tinubu was sworn-in as the nation’s president in May 2023. They are former President Goodluck Jonathan and recently, former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The FactCheckHub reviewed the appointments of these previous presidents within the period and found out that none of the appointees is from the South East region as claimed by Governor Uzodimma.
The service chiefs appointed by Jonathan within the period (2014 precisely) are Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh (Adamawa); Chief of Army Staff, Kenneth Minimah (Rivers); Chief of Naval Staff, Usman O. Jibrin (Kogi); and Chief of Air Staff, Adesola Nunayon Amosu (Lagos). None of them is from the Southeast region.
Similarly, the first service chiefs appointed by Buhari in 2015 are Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin (Ekiti); Chief of Army Staff, T.Y. Buratai (Borno); Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas (Cross River);and Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar (Bauchi).
They were replaced in 2021 by Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor (Delta); Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru (Kaduna); Chief of Naval Staff, Awwal Zubairu Gambo (Kano); and Chief of Air Force, Ishiaka Oladayo Amao (Osun). Attahiru tragically passed away in May 2021 and was replaced by Lieutenant-General Faruk Yahaya (Sokoto).
The claim that there is no service chief from the Southeast region in Nigeria in the last 10 years is TRUE.