In a week when the Nigerian Army suffered several casualties during confrontations with bandits and terrorists, the Chief of Army Staff today effected changes in many of its commands.
The changes involve the redeployment of several principal officers, including General Officers Commanding, GOCs, in what is also seen as a response to the President’s order for the military to face the security challenges squarely and ensure that the country and citizens are safe from the marauding terrorists, bandits and kidnappers that have turned Nigeria into a place of uncertainty.
Service Chiefs, led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff Faruk Yahaya; Chief of Air Staff Isiaka Oladayo Amao and Chief of the Naval Staff Auwal Zubairu Gambo, attended a Security Council meeting with President Buhari, yesterday Thursday, July 28, 2022, at the State House, Abuja and this shake up could be the Army’s response to the Presidential directive to curb the heightened insecurity in the country.
The announcement of the appointments and postings was contained in a statement today Friday 29th July, by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu. He said the changes were effected by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Faruk Yahaya in an effort to reposition the army for “operational efficiency and proficiency”.
Those affected in the redeployment include some Principal Staff Officers of the Army Headquarters, GOCs, Corps Commanders, Commandants of training institutions, Brigade Commanders and Commanding Officers.
The officers appointed as GOCs are:
- Major General UT Musa from Headquarters 81 Division to Headquarters 82 Division as GOC
- Major General TA Lagbaja from Headquarters 82 Division to Headquarters 1 Division as GOC
- Major General OC Ajunwa from Nigeria Defence Section Brasilia to HQ 81 Division as GOC
- Major General AS Chinade was redeployed from Depot Nigerian Army to Headquarters 2 Division as GOC
The newly appointed Army Headquarters Principal Staff Officers include:
- Maj Gen OW Ali, from Headquarters Command Army Records to Army Headquarters Department of Army Administration and appointed Chief of Administration (Army)
- Maj Gen S Muhammed, from Defence Headquarters to Department of Army Standards and Evaluation and appointed Chief of Army Standards and Evaluation (Army)
- Major General JA Ataguba from Army Headquarters Department of Army Standards and Evaluation to Defence Headquarters and appointed, Director Peace Keeping Operations
- Major General AA Adesope from Headquarters Nigerian Army Finance Corps to Defence Headquarters and appointed Chief of Defence Accounts and Budget
- Major General US Mohammed from Army Headquarters Department of Administration to Nigerian Army Resource Centre and appointment Senior Research Fellow.
Other senior officers affected in the redeployment are:
- Major General PB Fakrogha, from Defence Headquarters Garrison to Defence Space Agency and appointed Director Policy Plans and Research
- Major General MO Enendu, from Nigerian Army College of Logistics to Defence Headquarters and appointed Director Psychological Warfare
- Major General AE Attu from Defence Headquarters Department of Defence Training and Operations to Defence Headquarters Garrison and appointed Commander
- Major General BE Onyeuko from Defence Headquarters Directorate of Defence Media Operations to Defence Headquarters Department of Logistics and appointed Director Procurement
The newly appointed Corps Commanders are:
- Major General AM Alabi, from Nigerian Army Ordnance School to Headquarters Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps and appointed Corps Commander Ordnance
- Major General A Mohammed, from Nigerian Army Farms and Ranches Limited and to Headquarters Nigerian Army Electrical Mechanical Engineers and appointed Corps Commander Electrical Mechanical Engineers
- Major General E Akerejola from Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport to Headquarters Nigerian Army Corps of Transport and appointed Commander Corps of Supply and Transport
- Major General AA Fayemiwo from Nigerian Army Welfare Holdings Limited by Guarantee to Headquarters Finance Corps and appointed Chief of Accounts and Budget (Army)
Officers newly appointed as Commandants of Nigerian Army Training Institutions are:
- Major General PI Eze, from Defence Headquarters Department of Procurement to Nigerian Army Ordinance School and appointed Commandant
- Major General AA Adeyinka from Army Headquarters Department of Army Logistics to Nigerian Army College of Logistics and appointed Commandant
- Major General PP Malla from Army Headquarters Department of Army Administration to Depot Nigerian Army and appointed Commandant
- Brigadier General UT Otaru from Defence Headquarters to Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport and appointed Acting Commandant
The newly appointed Brigade Commanders are:
- Brigadier General DH Ndahi, from Nigerian Army Resource Centre to Headquarters 4 Brigade and appointed Commander
- Brig Gen FS Etim from Amphibious Training School to Headquarters 6 Brigade and appointed Commander
- Brigadier General EA Orakwe from Headquarters 6 Division to Headquarters 19 Brigade and appointed Commander
- Brigadier General JO Are from Army Headquarters Department of Army Standards and Evaluation to Headquarters 3 Brigade and appointed Commander, amongst others
According to the Army spokesman, the Chief of Army Staff has directed the newly appointed senior officers to redouble their effort and commitment to duty in tackling the security challenges bedeviling Nigeria as a country.
The statement did not say anything about the fate of GOCs and others previously occupying the positions which these newly appointed officers have been deployed to fill.
Many military and security experts have in recent times repeatedly called for changes and infusion of new blood and ideas in the country’s security architecture because of a seeming helplessness to deal with the challenges posed by terrorists, bandits and kidnappers who have turned Nigerians into sources of income from ransom payment or as hapless victims in the hands of gun-wielding ‘unknown’ gunmen.
Even soldiers manning checkpoints, including the elite Brigade of Guards in Abuja, have become cannon fodder in confrontations with obviously better armed and equipped bandits.
No Nigerian feels safe anymore either while travelling by road or rail, or even in their houses, places of business or worship centres, because the attackers are now known to look for soft targets to take advantage of.
The Army seems to have taken the lead in making changes. Hopefully the other branches of the military, i.e. the Navy and Air Force, will follow suit, while the Police and other security agencies need to also take a cue and show that they are up to the task of securing the country and its citizens.