|Lt General Azubuike Ihejirika|
Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Azubuike Ihejirika today [Dec. 27] shook the Nigerian Army to its foundation by announcing a sweeping clean of top Generals, 38 of who were sent on compulsory retirement including former Corps Commander of the Army Infantry School, Jaji, Kaduna state, Major General MD Isa who was recently moved out following a twin bomb explosion at the Protestant Military church located within the military formation.
Isa’s retirement took many by surprise as the report of the Board of Inquiry set up after the Jaji bombing is yet to be submitted. Represented at the briefing by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mobolaji Koleoso, the COAS, Lt General Ihejirika, however said that Isa’s retirement had nothing to do with the report of the Board of inquiry that investigated the Jaji cantonment bombing.
He explained that General Isa was retired based on his age, adding that the entire exercise was in accordance with the “harmonized terms and condition of service of the Nigerian Armed Forces”. Those also retired include 11 other Major Generals including Major General Obi the AU/UN Mission Commander in Sudan who returned to the country last month, 26 Brigadier Generals and 13 Colonels.
The army authority said it is making the announcement after it had notified the affected senior army officers in accordance with the law, to apply to proceed on voluntary retirement or be made to retire compulsorily.
While defending the integrity of the process, the COAS through the spokesman said “All the 51 officers retired have been notified earlier in the year of their retirement and most of them had voluntarily written regarding same. Subsequently, the Army Council approved their retirement from service having attended the mandatory age ceiling for each rank.
“Retirement from any noble profession, especially from the NA is considered a noble exit which every officer hopes and prays for. To now turn around to give such a milestone exercise a negative flavour is, to say the least, mischievous”.