The Defense Headquarters, DHQ says none of the seniors of the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya will be forced to retire from the Nigerian Army, noting that any officer who wants to leave the force as a result of the appointment would not be stopped either from doing so.
Over 30 Majors Generals, reports say were billed to be forcefully retired from the Army in line with the military tradition that senior officers must depart as soon as a junior officer is appointed as COAS.
The new COAS who was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari following the death of Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, in a plane crash in Kaduna, penultimate week, is of the Regular Course 37 of the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA while at least 30 Majors General of the Regular Course 35 and 36 are still serving in the military. The late COAS, appointed by the president in January this year was of Regular Course 35.
But reacting to the issue in Abuja on Thursday, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, said the appointment of Major. Gen. Yahaya will not lead to mass retirement in the Army, adding that the Military management has left the decision whether to remain in the Army to the affected Generals.
Onyeuko said “At this point, you are all aware of the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya. This has stirred up a lot of rumours in the media about mass retirements in the military.
“I wish to use this medium to dispel such unfounded rumours as retirement is only on a voluntary basis for senior officers who desire to do so. At this point, no retirements has been authorized by the military high command.”
Meanwhile, the COAS has called for collaboration between the Nigerian Army and the Airforce in the fight against insurgency and banditry, when he paid the Chief of Air Staff, CAS Air Marshal Oladayo Amao a courtesy visit on Wednesday.
Yahaya reiterated the need for synergy among members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in order to tackle all security challenges confronting the nation.
According to a statement by Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet on Wednesday, Maj.-Gen. Yahaya stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the CAS at the NAF Headquarters, Abuja.
He said the war against insurgency and armed banditry cannot be won by a single Service but rather, through a synergistic approach where all Services work in unison.
Yahaya said “The earlier we all recognize that no Service can do it alone, the better for us as an Armed Forces and a Nation to surmount the current security challenges.”
He also harped on the importance of air power to the success of the ongoing fight against insurgency, armed banditry and other forms of criminality in the Country.
He said he has always been an advocate of air power employment as a critical requirement of a fighting force having witnessed its formidable influence in various theatres of operations.
Categories: James Ibechi