COAS appointment: No mass retirement in military – DHQ clarifies

Chief of Defence Staff General Leo Irabor

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said there was no mass retirement of senior military officers following the appointment of Maj. – Gen Farouk Yahaya, as Chief of Army Staff (COAS), as it is being speculated in some sections of the media.

Director, Defence Media Operations (DDMO), Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, who stated this while briefing journalists on the various military operations across the country on Thursday however, said senior officers were at liberty to stay in service or retire voluntarily, if they so desire.

Brig.-Gen.  Onyeuko said the clarification became necessary following the rumour of mass exodus of over 25 major Generals from the Army.

He said, “At this point you are all aware of the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Farouk Yahaya. This has stirred up lot of rumours in the media about mass retirements in the military. I wish to use this medium to dispel such unfounded rumours.

“Retirement is only on voluntary basis for senior officers who desire to do so. At this point, no retirements has been authorized by the Military High Command.”

Speaking on the successes of operational activities across the country between 20 May and 2 June 2021, he said the military intensified it operational efforts in the fight against terrorism, banditry, hoodlums and militancy as well as other criminalities across all the geo-political zones of the country.

“Troops conducted series of clearance patrols, ambush, raid, picketing, cordon and search operations as well as artillery bombardments. Others are anti-piracy, anti-illegal oil bunkering, anti-crude oil theft, anti-pipeline vandalism and anti-smuggling operations were also conducted within the period.

“There were also extensive air operations, which included air patrols, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions, offensive air strikes, air interdictions, search and rescue operations as well as close air support for ground troops. These operations within the period yielded appreciable results”, he said.

He said troops of Operation HADIN KAI between 20 May and 2 June 2021 carried out series of operational activities, where they rescued kidnapped victims, neutralized scores of terrorists, destroyed terrorists’ enclaves, arrested terrorists and intercepted terrorists’ logistics items including vehicles.

“On 20 May 2021, troops had contact and engaged BHT criminal elements in Gwoza LGA of Borno State. This occurred as troops swiftly responded to a distress call by farmers on attack on their location. Troops gallantly rescued the farmers.

“During the encounter, several terrorists were neutralized, while some others escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds. Also on same day, troops while conducting aggressive clearance operation on BHT’s hideouts at Ngaiwa, Tongunle, Washelle, Mo’o, Mudollo, Mugdalla and Amtul villages, all in Dikwa LGA of Borno State, killed scores of the terrorists and recovered large caches of arms and ammunition.

“In related developments between 21 and 25 May, troops conducted cordon and search, raid operations and arrested BHT logistics suppliers at Ngamdu Town in Kaga LGA of Borno State, New Barracks Location along Damaturu – Potiskum road as well as Kukareta Town in Damaturu LGA of Yobe State. Items recovered during the operation include; large numbers of jerry can and drums of PMS, assorted arms and ammunition and assorted logistics items. This large consignment of logistics has drastically dislocated the terrorists’ logistics network in the region.

“Meanwhile on 23 May 2021, the Air Task Force of Operation HADIN KAI conducted an extensive air interdiction missions near Gudumbali in Guzamal LGA and the Toumbuns of Lake Chad of Borno State.” He said.