The Presidency has dismissed media reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has replaced Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, also described as untrue and false the story that the two service chiefs had been replaced by the president.
The statement reads: “It is necessary to respond to a fictive story published in today’s edition of New Telegraph Newspaper to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the replacement of Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as service chiefs.
“The newspaper, rather than rush to print an unsubstantiated story, would have done better to confirm the information at its disposal, from many available military and government information channels.
“It then would have avoided the self-inflicted wound of publishing a one-legged story that is not completely true, and damaging its brand in the process.
“Gen. Olonisakin is due to retire from the Army next week, having satisfied the official number of years in service. He has yet to be replaced.
“But the Chief of Naval Staff has a short while more, and President Buhari could, therefore, not have approved his replacement yet.’’
According to Adesina, President Buhari-led administration has repeatedly pledged commitment to transparency and accountability, and one of the hallmarks of that is making information available to the media.
He, however, frowned at some sections of the media who would rather speculate, than cross-check and double check information, saying “it borders on deliberate mischief.
“That, surely, is not the way to go, for national cohesion and development.’’