The Defence Headquarters, on Thursday described as an “unfounded rumour” claims of possible mass retirement in the Nigerian Army following the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff who is of Course 37 of Nigerian Defence Academy.
It would be recalled that the media including Daily Trust had reported that retirement was dangling on not less than 30 senior military officers who are superiors to the newly appointed COAS.
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The media premised their reports on the age-long military tradition stating that it would be difficult for the superior officers to serve under their junior ones.
But reacting to the report during a press briefing at Defence Headquarters in Abuja, the acting director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, explained that retirement is only on a voluntary basis for senior officers who desire to do so.
Onyeuko stressed that those who are yet to retire could be transferred to Defence headquarters or be posted out to head tri-service institutions depending on the discretion of the Military Council.
“At this point, you are all aware of the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya. This has stirred up a lot of rumours in the media about mass retirements in the military.
“I wish to use this medium to dispel such unfounded rumours. Retirement is only on a voluntary basis for senior officers who desire to do so. At this point, no retirement has been authorized by the Military High Command,” he said.
The DMO spokesman added, “The Military High Command will not be weary of appreciating the general public for their support and continue to encourage them to provide credible and timely information that will facilitate our proactive engagements in the theatres of operations.
“The Military High Command also lauds all efforts of the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their resilience and indefatigable commitment.”
On the activities of the military, Onyeuko said that the troops had conducted a series of clearance patrols, ambush, raid, picketing, cordon and search operations as well as artillery bombardments in various theatres during the period.
In the North East, he said the troops of “Operation Hadin Kai” on May 20, rescued victims and eliminated scores of terrorists in different parts of Borno and Yobe during the period.
He added that items like large numbers of jerry cans and drums of PMS, assorted arms and ammunition and assorted logistics items were also recovered from terrorists’ logistics suppliers.