Despite denials by the Nigerian Army that the appointment of Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) will not lead to the mass retirement of other serving Generals, 29 Army Generals have reportedly been forced to retire from service.
Premium Times reported that the Generals, mainly from the Regular Course 35 and 36, had to make way with the appointment of Yahaya who is a member of the Course 37.
Yahaya was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace the late Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a military plane crash in Kaduna alongside 10 other officers on May 21 while on an official assignment.
In the military tradition, it is understood that once a junior is appointed as a service chief, senior officers who are ahead of him are forced to proceed on retirement as it would be abnormal for senior military officers to take orders from their juniors.
With the appointment of Yahaya, a much junior officer, there were fears that high ranking officers would be forced to retire.
However, the Defence Headquarters had, in a statement, dismissed the speculations of massive retirement, saying the retirement of senior officers from the military was always ‘voluntary’.
In the statement, Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig. Gen. Bernard 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 have been authorised by the military high command.”
But in a leaked secret memo on Sunday, it has been revealed that a total of 29 Army Major Generals have been approved to proceed on terminal leave, paving way for their eventual retirement.
According to the memo, the 29 Generals, from regular course 36 have been approved to proceed on terminal leave with effect from June 1.
Below is the full list of the affected Generals:
1. JB Olawumi
2. JO Akomolafe
3. CO Ude
4. G Oyefesobi
5. MO Uzoh
6. CC Okonkwo
7. MSA Aliyu
8. UM Mohammed
9. BM Shafa
10. NE Angbazo
11. YP Auta
12. SA Yaro
13. J Sarham
14. HE Ayamasoawei
15. OF Azinta
16. BA Akinroluyo
17. KAY Isiyaku
18. AT Hamman
19. AM Aliyu
20. HPZ Vintienagba
21. HR Momoh
22. JR Unuigbe
23. AA Jidda
24. OI Uzomere
25. MH Magaji
26. LA Adegboye
27. MA Masanawa
28. OA Akinyemi
29. AM Dauda
By Isaac Dachen
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