According to the announcement made by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali's Public Relations Officer, Colonel Tukur Gusau, on Monday, December 18, 2017, the president's decision is based on a careful review of "the ongoing military operations across the country."

The statement read, "The president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria his excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, having carefully reviewed the on-going military operations across the nation and the efforts of the chief of defence staff and the service chiefs in the counter insurgency operations in the north-east coupled with the security situation of the Niger Delta region, has graciously approved the extension of tenure of service of general Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, the chief of defence staff, lieutenant general Tukur Yusufu Buratai chief of army staff, vice-admiral Ibok-EteIkwe Ibas, the chief of naval staff and air marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, the chief of air staff.

"This extension is pursuant of the powers conferred on the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by section 218 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and section 09.06 of the Harmonised Terms and Conditions for Service for officers (2012) Revised.

"The Honourable Minister of Defence Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali therefore congratulated the Chief of Defence Staff and Service Chiefs for earning the confidence of the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Force of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the people of Nigeria, leading to their extension of service."

The extension means that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin; Chief of Army Staff ; Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Ibik–Eke Ibns; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar will continue in office.