In the wake of the heavy criticisms and allegations that the Nigerian Army retired officers from only a section of the country in order to advance a ‘northern agenda’, the Army has come out to clarify its reason for the forced retirement of the officers, adding that the reports were “unfair and unethical.”
Allegations had been labelled against the Army that the senior army officers were compelled to retire because they were from the south of Nigeria and loyal to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
But in a statement issued late Sunday by its acting director of public relations, Sani Usman, the Nigerian Army denied the allegations 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.
“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.”