New Army Chief is Junior to 30 Generals
No fewer than 30 Army Generals may be forced to retire from the military service, following the appointment of Major General Farouk Yahaya as new Chief of Army Staff to replace late Chief of Army Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a plane crash last week.
As is a military tradition, once an officer is appointed as Army Chief, all his superiors prior to the appointment maybe eased out of the service via a forceful retirement.
The appointment of General Yahaya is likely to lead to the forceful retirement of at least 30 Generals who were hitherto his seniors from the Regular Course 35 and Regular Course 36. Since General Yahaya is of Regular Course 37, he could not superintend over his seniors.
Yahaya is also junior to the other service chiefs as the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor is of Regular Course 34 Intake; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, both being Regular Course 35 intakes.
Until his appointment as the new Army chief Yahaya was the Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, which was responsible for counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency fight in the North-East.
Meanwhile, reactions have trailed the appointment with some expressing concerns that letting as much as 30 Generals retire at once may weaken the workforce.
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Others questioned why the new army chief had to be a northerner.