Some Army Generals who are among the 38 officers ‘arbitrarily’ sacked by the Nigerian military authorities may have accepted their fate to go on voluntary retirement as recommended by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor.
PRNigeria reports that General Irabor recently wrote a letter to the Defence Minister, General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), on a request to revisit the issues surrounding the “arbitrary” retirement of the 38 officers in 2016. His action followed the failure of the Nigerian Army to recall the “wrongfully” retired officers after a series of interventions by the justice minister, Abubakar Malami, and that of the National Assembly based on an Industrial Court verdict.
However, in a memo to the authorities the military Generals want the rest of the affected officers in the rank of Brigadier General, Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel to be reinstated and deployed to join the anti-banditry war in other parts of the country after their gallant operations in the North-East.
In their memo obtained by PRNigeria, they recommended that all the affected senior officers of the rank of Major Generals that have reached their run out dates should have their retirement converted to voluntary retirement and effective from their actual run out date while their outstanding salaries up till the effective date of voluntary retirement should be paid to them.
They also suggested that senior officers of the rank of Brigadier Generals that have reached their run out date should be promoted to voluntary retirement in the rank of Major General.
They added that a Late Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Baba-Ochankpa, should be honoured with posthumous promotion to immediate next rank effective from his promotion due date.
On those that still have active years of service left, the memo read: “The other unjustly retired officers who still have years of Active Service should be reinstated and promoted to their respective next rank. This is to ensure justice is done to them by putting their careers back on course as all the victimized officers are already behind their course mates by at least one promotion due to no fault of theirs.
“Since most of them have gallantly proved their worth in the counter-terrorism operations in North-East leading to the recovery of towns, elimination and arrest of thousands of terrorists, we are of the opinion that they would be a great asset in the anti-banditry and clearance mission against the criminals terrorising some northern parts of the country, especially in Zamfara, Niger, Katsina and Sokoto States.
“There is a precedent for the recall of innocent and unjustly retired officers in the military and other services. The Buhari administration, for instance, reinstated Major General Ahmed Mohammed, former GOC 7 Div, after two years in retirement with all his rights and privileges.
“There should also be sanctions for the perpetrators of the evil act of wickedness to the innocent officers. It is painful that such wicked officers abused their offices by deceiving Mr. President and the entire nation just so that they can pursue their selfish agenda at the cost of our national security.”
The list of the unjustly retired officers who have reached their run out dates include Maj Gen MY Ibrahim, Maj Gen SD Aliyu, Maj Gen FO Alli, Maj Gen IN Ijioma, Maj Gen Ejemai, Maj Gen LC Ilo, Maj Gen Ude, Maj Gen EJ Atewe and Maj Gen LI Wiwa.
Others include Brig Gen LM Bello, Brig Gen ASH Saad, Brig Gen Mormoni-Bashir, Brig Gen DM Onoyvieta, Brig Gen B Fibuonuma, Brig Gen Koko-Essien and Brig Gen IM Lawson,
The affected officers that still have active years of service include Brig Gen AI Onibasa, Brig Gen D Abdulsalam and Brig Gen Aghachi, Col DR Hassan, Col MA Suleiman, Col FD Kayode, Col TT Minimah, Col FE Ekpenyong, Col OU Nwankwo and Col CK Ukoha.
Others are Lt Col TO Oladuntoye, Lt Col CO Amadi, Lt Col OA Baba-Ochankpa, Lt Col E Egemole, Lt Col KO Adimoha, Lt Col DB Dazang, Lt Col T Arigbe, Lt Col Enemchukwu, Lt Col GC Nyekwu, Lt Col A Mohammed, Lt Col AS Mohammed and Major TA Williams.