The Nigerian Army has confirmed the retirement of some senior officers from service following the approval of the Army Council.
A statement issued by the force’s spokesman, Col. Sani Usman, said the approval was confirmed at the meeting of the council on Thursday.
Although Usman did not disclose the number of officers affected, he said their retirement was based on service exigencies.
He words: “The Army wishes to inform the general public that quite a number of senior officers of the Nigerian Army were retired from service yesterday.
“Those retired were mainly some major-generals, brigadiers-general, colonels, lieutenant-colonels and a major. “Their retirement was based on service exigencies,’’
Officers of ranks from Major-Generals, down to Lieutenant-Colonels, are affected in the massive retirement, described as “a major shake-up”.
The meeting was chaired by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Tukur Buratai.
Majority of the officers are alleged to be close to senior officers in the past government, and are affected to ensure that the “issue of dual loyalty is eradicated.”
Some of them said that various allegations were levelled against them. “The allegations were crafted to persecute us because we were never investigated by or invited to any panel. In fact, some of us were only called on phone and told of the retirement, which was approved by the Army Council, headed by the Minister of Defence,” the source said.
“We’re not due for retirement,” he stressed.
It recalled that not too long ago some officers were investigated for partisanship during the 2015 general elections.
Usman further said the retirements were connected with the investigation by the Presidential Committee investigating defence contracts.
He said some officers had already been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Usman advised the public not to read the development out of context, stressing that the military must remain apolitical and professional at all times.