Barely one week after the governor of Borno state, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, expressed hopelessness in the nation’s handling of the security challenges in the North-east, the military hierarchy yesterday effected a minor but strategic posting.
A major highlight of this is the redeployment of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division in the zone, Major General Junaid Bindawa.
The governor was reported to have said that it would be difficult for the military to win the war against the Boko Haram insurgents because, according to him, the latter are better motivated and equipped than the Nigerian military.
In what appears a response to the challenge, the Nigerian Army replaced Bindawa, a Short Service Combatant officer of the Armoured Corps appointed GOC in December 2013, with Major General Ahmed Mohammed, who is currently the Commander, Nigerian Army Training Centre (NATRAC), Kontagora.
Bindawa took over from Major General Obidah Ethan who was redeployed to Army Headquarters as Chief of Civil Military Affairs. Ethan was the first GOC that took over from the Joint Task Force (JTF).
Under the new arrangement, Bindawa proceeds to Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Minna as Director of Training, while Brigadier General I. H Edet, currently, Commander, 82 Division Garrison takes over in acting capacity as NATRAC Commander.
Blueprint gathered that 14 senior officers were affected in the new posting, while 17 officers were merely amended.
Sources told our reporter that the replacement of the GOC, who is an armoured officer with an infantry officer, is based on the desire of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah to reinvigorate the ongoing war on insurgency in the North-east.
“You know the COAS just visited the troops in the North-east area of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. He has seen what is on ground and saw the need for the change in command. It is in order”, our source added.
Speaking on the new GOC, the source said that the new GOC is a competent officer, who has proved himself in both command and staff appointment in the past, saying “Major General Mohammed is a very serious minded officer. He is an infantry officer and a no-nonsense person who does things in unconventional ways to get result. I am sure his appointment will intensify the fight against the insurgents.”
Mohammed, who was promoted Major General in 2013, is a regular combatant officer of Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). He is bringing to the new appointment over two decades experience in training, command and staff appointments.