. Over 40 Army generals, several AirForce, Navy officers to go soon – Military sources
Following Thursday’s appointment of Major-General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff by President Muhammadu Buhari, palpable fear has gripped over 40 senior generals still serving in the Nigerian Army, as strong indications emerged that they may soon be ‘eased’ out of service, FirstNews has learnt.
Similarly, several of their course mates in the ranks of Air-Vice Marshal and Rear Admiral in the Nigerian AirForce and the Nigerian Navy, respectively, are expected to be affected by the impending retirement exercise due to the appointment of Yahaya as the new COAS.
FirstNews gathered from reliable military sources that the appointment of Yahaya, who belongs to the Regular Course 37 of the Nigerian Defence Academy has automatically ended the continued stay in service of military generals in the three services of the Nigerian Armed Forces that are his course mates and seniors at NDA.
The impending retirement, it was gathered, is in line with the military tradition of retiring senior military officers once any of their course mates or juniors is appointed service chief. This, it was learnt, is to give the new service chief the free hands to control the Army, Navy or AirForce, as the case may be.
FirstNews further learnt that Thursday’s development in the Army has thrown members of the NDA Regular Course 35, 36 and 37 still in the military into “serious panic” as Yahaya’s appointment by Buhari is a clear indication that their compulsory retirement from service is just a matter of a few days more.
A senior military officer, who pleaded anonymity because he’s not competent to speak with the press, told FirstNews on Thursday night in Abuja, “The generals in the Army, Navy and AirForce who are Yahaya’s course mates at NDA know already that his appointment as the new COAS is the end of their own service in the military, not to talk of those who are his seniors in the three arms and are still in service.
“Those ones need not be told by anyone again that it’s about time they threw in their towels and retire voluntarily before they are thrown out.
“For the generals who are Yahaya’s seniors, their death knell had been sounded since Attahiru’s death last week. That is the tradition in the military. There’s nothing new in this development, please.”
Efforts by our correspondent to speak with the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-General Mohammed Yerima, proved abortive.
Yerima didn’t pick calls made to his phone and also failed to reply to SMS sent to him as of the time of filing this report.