The Nigerian Army has denied allegations that those affected by the recent retirement exercise it embarked upon were deliberately pooled from a section of the country to further advance a ‘northern agenda’, describing the reports as “unfair and unethical.”
In a statement issued late Sunday by its acting director of public relations, Sani Usman, the Nigerian Army pushed back against the attacks, saying the exercise was carried out in strict compliance with the country’s extant laws.
“The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to speculations and rumours regarding the number and names of the senior Army officers affected in the recent retirement exercise.
“This is worrisome as some individuals and media houses went to the ridiculous extent of publishing outrageous figures and names of serving officers as being retired. This is unethical and unfair.
“We are quite aware that some mischievous elements are trying to whip up sentiments. This is quite unfortunate because all the affected officers were retired based on Service exigencies and in line with the Armed Forces Act, CAP A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004,” the Army said.
Mr. Sani, a colonel, also gave a breakdown of the affected officers by ranks.
“We wish to state that only 38 senior officers were affected by the retirement exercise.
“For the avoidance of doubt the following is the statistics of the officers retired compulsorily; 9 Major Generals, 10 Brigadier Generals, 7 Colonels, 11 Lieutenant Colonels and a Major.”
“The Army does not thrive on that. These people were retired strictly in accordance with the dictates of the Armed Forces Act and not based on ethnic or tribal consideration. The context of the law is what the people should look at,” Mr. Sani said.