Appointment of new COAS: Despite denials, Army begins compulsory retirement of senior Generals

…Regular Course 36 Generals asked to embark on compulsory annual leave

…Affected Officers to meet CDS Thursday

By Our Correspondent

The Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), has commenced the process of compulsory retirement of Officers who are higher than the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Farouk Yahaya in rank

This is even as the Defence headquarters had last week denied and allayed fears from Nigerians that some of the country’s finest and well trained hands in the military could be forced to their untimely retirement following Major General Yahaya Farouk’s appointment.

There has been outrage from Nigerians who expressed concerns that the appointment of two Chief of Army Staffs within the past one year may have caused a sharp depletion in the Nigerian Army, considering the current fight against insurgency and criminal activities in the country.

According  to an Internal Memo from Defence Headquarters, addressed to all members of the Regular Course 36 with Reference Number, DHQ/ABJ/401/38/ADM, dated 4th June 2021, and signed by Rear Admiral AB Adamu on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), all members  Regular Course 36, were instructed to embark on compulsory   30 days annual leave, with effect from June I.

The Internal Memo, captioned Invitation to a meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff, which was exclusively obtained by The AUTHORITY, instructed all the affected Officers whose numbers were put at 29 to refer to previous Memo with Reference Number: NA/COAS/G1/48, dated 31st May, 2021, and another Memo, with Reference Number AHQ.DOAA/G1/300/217, dated same day.

The Memo, also instructed all the affected Officers and others with rank of Major General and equivalent to attend a meeting with the CDS on Thursday June 10, 2021, at the Defence Headquarters New Conference Hall.

This however, is contrary to the denials last Thursday where the Defence Headquarters, through the Acting Director, Defence Media Operation, Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, issued a statement, denying any such move.

The statement reads in part: “At this point, you are all aware of the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Farouk Yahaya. This had stirred up lot of rumours in the media about retirement in the military.

“I wish to use this medium to dispel such unfounded rumour. Retirement is only on voluntary basis for Senior Officers who desire to do so.

“At this point, no retirements have been authorized by the military high command”, he assured on June 3.

It would be recalled that the new COAS, belongs to the Regular Course 37, and following military tradition, he can only accommodate his course mates and not his seniors.

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