20 Generals Face Retirement as Buhari Names New Service Chiefs

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20 Generals Face Retirement as Buhari Names New Service Chiefs
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

At least 20 members of courses 34 and 35 may proceed on retirement as President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday announced a change of the country’s service chiefs.

The reshuffling of the officers was disclosed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement titled, ‘President Buhari appoints new service chiefs,’ named officers who would head the nation’s armed forces.

Adesina listed the new security heads to include Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Major-General I. Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, and the Chief of Air Staff,  Air-Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao.

Reports have emerged that the development might lead to the retirement of some military personnel as sources in the Nigerian Army told The PUNCH that the appointment of the new service chiefs might force no fewer than 20 generals in regiment courses 34 and 35 to retire. While Attahiru is a member of Course 35, Irabor is a member of Course 34.

Adesina had in the statement stated, “President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the service chiefs, and their retirement from service.

“Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

“The new service chiefs are: Major-General Lucky Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

“The President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.”

It was gathered that although many of the senior officers might retire, the service years of some of them might be extended by the new chief of army staff who would need their experience in the ongoing counterinsurgency campaign in the North-East.

Reports say some of them might be posted to the defence headquarters, where they would not be reporting to the chief of army staff.

According to a retired general, he said, “We have the dearth of officers with experience in Liberia and Sierra Leone wars because it takes gut to fight these boys (insurgents). They use the same tactics we fought against in Sierra Leone and Liberia. It is not automatic that members of Course 34 and 35 would retire.

“Course 33 has gone, we have 34 and 35. Irabor is Course 34.  Attahiru is course 35.  About 20 generals in course 34 and 35 may go, but the COAS may retain some of them.  He would use his discretion. He would want his course mates to be around him. Some may be posted to the defence headquarters.”

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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