The Nigerian Army’s brutal confrontation against terrorists in the Northeastern part of the country will continue under the directive of Major General I.S. Ali.
This is so as Ali was, over the weekend, named as the new Theatre Commander of the Joint Task Force North-East operation.
understands that the army group known as Operation Hadin Kai have been checkmating the activities of Boko Haram and terrorists of the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP).
Major-General Chris Musa formerly led the counterinsurgency operation.
Ali was among the list of Major Generals and Brigadier Generals who were recently approved for deployment by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya.
Before his latest shift, Ali worked with the 3 Division in Jos, Plateau State.
Meanwhile, a report had emerged earlier about a major shakeup in the Nigerian Army following the planned compulsory retirement of over 120 Major-Generals, Brigadiers, Colonels, Lieutenants, Captains, and others.
The affected officers, who include those who failed their Senior Staff Course Examinations, were ordered to submit their letters of voluntary retirement or face summary retrenchment.
A report monitored by Naija News on The Punch said the compulsory retirement was in accordance with the Public Service Rules and the Armed Forces of Nigeria Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service, 2017 (Revised).
It was gathered that the number of senior and middle-level personnel that would be required to leave the service might be higher than 120 as those concerned were being given their letters of compulsory retirement in batches.
It was learned that the first batch was given a deadline of December 24, 2022, to tender their retirement letters and the affected army officers would proceed on the mandatory three-month pre-retirement leave from January.
According to the report, the majority of the concerned officers had complied with the directive to avoid hostile actions from the authorities.
The development has, however, generated consternation in the Army with many querying the rationale behind the mass retrenchment.
An officer who spoke with The Punch on the condition of anonymity accused the military authorities of disobeying a directive from the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) that the exercise should be suspended till after the 2023 elections.
The newspaper quoted the source as saying, “Over 120 top officers were served letters of mandatory retirement by the Army authorities. The affected officers include major generals, brigadier-generals, brigadiers, colonels, captains and other middle-level officers, who were unable to pass their promotion examinations after three attempts.
“But there are two rules guiding this issue: if one fails to pass his promotion exams after three attempts, he could be considered on the basis of the years he has spent on the rank.
“Though the authorities informed us that those who failed to pass their exams would be considered on the basis of age on rank, they reneged on this and instead directed us to put in our voluntary retirement letters. This is not fair.”
Despite protesting the failure of the Army high command to comply with the rules, it was learnt that the personnel were compelled to tender their notices of voluntary retirement with the option to complain or appeal later.