About 24 senior officers of the Nigerian Army on the rank of Major Generals may have to ‘end’ their careers to accommodate the appointment of Major General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
This is because of their seniority in rank to Yayaha who was recently appointed the new Chief of Army Staff by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Naija News recalls Major-General Yahaya who hails from Sokoto State was appointed the new COAS last Thursday by the President following the death of the past COAS, Lt-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru on May 21, 2021, in a plane crash in Kaduna State.
He resumed duties on Friday at the Army Headquarters in Abuja.
It was however gathered that the senior officers to the newly appointed Army Chief may have to make way to accommodate him in his new position.
The 24 Generals affected by Yahaya’s appointment comprise 13 from the North and 11 from the South, it was gathered.
According to a document showing those who are above the new COAS in terms of seniority as analyzed by PR Nigeria indicated that the North West, the place Faruq hails from, has three Major Generals who are above him, in seniority. They include Major Generals MSA Aliyu, YP Auta, and J Sarham.
The four Generals from the North Central above the new Army Chief are JO Akomolafe, UM Mohammed, NE Angbazo, and Kay Isiyaku.
That of the North East, who are six in number, include Major Generals AS Maikobi, SA Yaro, AT Hamman, AM Aliyu, HPZ Vintenaba, and IM Yusuf.
From the South West, these five Major Generals–JB Olawumi, G Oyefesobi, BM Shafa, BA Akinroluyo, and KO Kadiri–are Faruq’s senior in the Army.
There are Generals CO Ude, MO Uzoh, CC Okonkwo, BI Ahanotu, and OF Azinta, all from the South East, who ‘senior’ the newly appointed COAS.
Major General HE Ayamasaowei from Bayelsa State is the only Army senior officer from the South-South who is also Faruq’s senior.
The analysis further revealed that there are over 100 officers on the rank of Major General currently in the Nigerian Army.
But explaining the possible reason behind the choice of Yahaya as the new COAS, a retired military officer who spoke to PRNigeria on anonymity said it may be because the new COAS belongs to the elite infantry corps that belongs to the combat and operational forces in the Army.
“The Nigerian Army as a multidisciplinary arm has some Major Generals that senior Faruk Yahaya but are neither from combat nor in the combat supporting corps known as fighting arms.
“In terms of military operation officers from the infantry, armour, and artillery are usually knowledgeable and skilful on battlegrounds and counter-insurgency operations.
“Other corps from intelligence, signals, police and engineering provide supporting roles. Some other Major Generals are in the administrative and general corps such as Public Relations, Education, Medical and Chaplaincy among others whose roles do not include combat operations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Naija News recalls the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi-Magashi has defended the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint Major General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff.
According to the Minister, Buhari didn’t consider ethnic or religious factors but only national interest in choosing the new Army chief.