AS many as 20 senior military officers are expected to retire over the next month following the naming of Major General Farouk Yahaya as Nigeria’s new chief of army staff to replace Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a plane crash last week.
Yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari named Major General Yahaya as the new army boss and as a result about 20 generals of Regular Courses 35 and 36 are expected to proceed on retirement. General Yahaya graduated as a member of the Regular Course 37, so all serving officers who are senior to him are expected to retire.
One military source said it is the tradition in the military for senior officers to take a bow whenever a junior officer is appointed chief of army staff, as they cannot be saluting their junior. With the chief of defence staff, General Lucky Irabor, being a Regular Course 34 graduate, chief of naval staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and chief of air staff Air Marshal Oladayo Amao both being Regular Course 35 graduates, Major General Yahaya becomes the most junior service chief.
These 20 major generals and brigadiers due to retire are made up of five remaining Regular Course 35 intakes and 15 Regular Course 36 intakes. The appointment of General Yahaya as General Attahiru’s successor, was delayed due to the search for a competent officer and the need not to have service chiefs from the same state in the same government.