Ex-naval chief Gambo speaks on reports of refusal to follow Tinubu’s order

Chief of Naval Staff Awwal Gambo

Former chief of naval staff Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo (retd) has debunked a report that he refused to hand over to his successor, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla.

An online news platform had reported that Gambo refused to vacate office in line with President Bola Tinubu’s order and that he insisted he would pay billions of naira to contractors before leaving office.

Spokesperson of the Nigerian Navy Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan said in a statement on Wednesday that Gambo will hand over to his successor on Friday.

Describing the reports as false, Ayo-Vaughan said handing over and taking over in the Navy has a procedure that must be followed.

According to him, Gambo, according to naval tradition, must embark on some tours and give detailed briefs to Ogalla before vacating office.

The statement partly read, “The attention of the Naval Headquarters has been drawn to a malicious publication by some online media alleging the refusal of the outgoing Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral AZ Gambo CFR, to hand over to the incoming Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral EI Ogalla. The media reports are total lies, misleading, and capable of spreading falsehoods to unsuspecting members of the public. It is therefore necessary to set the record straight.

“Suffice to state that handing and taking over ceremony in the Nigerian Navy from inception is procedural. Upon the announcement of the change of the ‘Watch on deck’, the outgoing CNS is expected to give a detailed brief to the incoming CNS, tour key naval facilities, and perform the ceremonial lowering of ensign.

“Accordingly, the programme of events leading to the formal handing and taking over ceremony has kicked off to culminate at a public ceremony on Friday, June 23, 2023 in line with age-long naval tradition.”