The President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has approved the appointment of Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Saliu Usman as the new Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) for the armed forces.
Usman’s appointment on Thursday followed the current security challenges facing the country, particularly the resurgent militancy in the Niger Delta.
He is expected to replace Major General John Saduana Davies, who had been on acting capacity since January 2016, when the former CDI, Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan retired.
According to the Armed Forces Statutes, the position of CDI, which is the apex in the intelligence community is rotational among the services.
With the Army and the Navy serving their terms of three years, it fell to the Airforce but AVM Morgan who got appointed when Buhari assumed office in 2015, was caught up with (ROD), ‘run out date’ and had to retire.
Vanguard reports that Major General Davies was therefore appointed on acting capacity until a suitable CDI whose recommendation was approved by President Buhari was appointed.
Air Vice Marshal Usman, was until his appointment, the Director of Air Intelligence at NAF HQ. He had served at the Defence Intelligence Agency as the Director of Intelligence before he was appointed Director of Air Intelligence.
In his career, he was an instructor at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji and the Defence Intelligence School, Abuja. He was also a onetime Security Officer to a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Isaac Alfa (rtd).
Elated by the appointment, Usman expressed his ‘most profound’ gratitude to President Buhari, even as he promised to work in harmony with the services to ensure peace and security for the nation.
“Eight months ago, I was posted from here (DIA), to the NAF headquarters. I never knew that I will come back this way. I have taken it as an act of God. My doors will be open to all and I will be fair to all and I will carry everybody along”, he told officers and men of the Agency.
“I want to urge all of you to be up and doing because we are in challenging times. Let us put integrity into all that we are doing. Let us consider DIA as one family and let our actions speak for us” he said.
The CDI congratulated Major General Davies for his services to the nation noting that “during the short time he spent as Acting CDI, he took the organization to a very high level adding, “I will continue from where he stopped.