A two-star general from Akwa Ibom State, Rear Admiral Okon Edet Eyo, has been appointed a branch chief in the Nigerian Navy.
He is to serve as the Chief of Naval Transformation at the Naval Headquarters (NHQ), Abuja.
A branch in the NHQ consists of directorates manned by directors, usually of the rank of Rear Admiral or Commodore, a one-star general, who all report to the branch chief who is a more senior Rear Admiral.
Two other two-star generals from the state, Rear Admiral Joseph Akpan and Rear Admiral Uduak Asuquo Ibanga, have been appointed the Director of Policy at the NHQ and the Managing Director of Naval Building and Construction Company Limited, respectively.
Previously, Eyo, from Akai-Udo Ebughu in Mbo local government area, served as the Director of Training at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja, acting briefly, last year, as the Chief of Training and Operations, while Akpan, from Idikpa Nsit in Nsit Atai local government area, and Ibanga, from Ikot Ekan in Etinan local government area, served at the NHQ as the Director of Personnel Release and the Director of Project Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation, respectively.
The appointment of the trio to their new positions was contained in a statement by the Director of Naval Information, Commodore Suleiman Dahun, on Wednesday, announcing new postings which involved the appointment of new Flag Officers Commanding (FOCs) and Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), among others, by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo.
A total of 54 Rear Admirals were affected in the postings and the huge number may not be unconnected with the recent retirement of Course 36 Regular Officers from the Navy as approved by the Federal Government and the recent promotion of senior officers in the service.
In the Navy hierarchy, branch chiefs, who are PSOs at the NHQ, are next in line to the CNS, followed by the FOCs.
The last Akwa Ibom indigene to be a branch chief was Rear Admiral Michael Etok Ebe, from Ikot Obong Edong in Ikot Ekpene local government area, who retired early last year as the Chief of Naval Logistics.
The Navy shake up came a little over a week after a similar one by the Army and two weeks after that of the Air Force, an indication that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) is starting 2022 with reorganisation.
In the Air Force shake up, Akwa Ibom’s lone serving two-star general, Air Vice Marshal Iboro Harry Etukudo, from Atan Ikpe in Ikot Abasi local government area, was appointed the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Mobility Command, Yenagoa.
Major General Solomon Effiong Udounwa, from Nung Udoe in Ibesikpo Asutan local government area, was appointed the Chief of Special Services and Programmes, a newly-created position at the Army Headquarters (AHQ), Abuja, while Major General Uwem Udo Bassey, from Mbiabong Ikot Udo in Ini local government area, was retained as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division, Sokoto, in the Army shake up.