President Buhari and New COAS, Farouk Yahaya
Investigation by SaharaReporters has shown that the Nigerian Army will be spending not less than N700 million on the retirement of 29 Major-Generals and Brigadier-Generals who will leave the service going by the appointment of Major-General Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff.
SaharaReporters learnt that the 29 Generals’ retirement benefits would gulp a large chunk of the money, according to the 2017 Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service of the Officers and men of the Armed Forces.
Checks by SaharaReporters showed that the 29 Major-Generals are entitled to a brand new Peugeot 508 car, one cook, two residential guards, one service orderly and one service driver.
Chief among the benefits is free medical cover in Nigeria and abroad to the tune of $15,000 annually.
The 29 Major-Generals and Brigadier-Generals have already commenced a terminal leave – the prelude to their retirement – which will end on June 30.
“The brand new vehicles for the exiting generals will cost N464 million while the other logistics and employment of personnel for them will cost N200 million in total. The money will come from extra-budgetary allocations to the armed forces,” a source at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
“Some of them are lobbying but the rule is the rule. Generals in Course 36 have to be retired forcefully, since Major-General Yahaya is of the 37th Regular Course.”
SaharaReporters had on May 28 reported that President Muhammadu Buhari bypassed no fewer than 24 top senior Nigerian Army officers to appoint Yahaya as the Chief of the Army Staff, according to a document, Seniority Roll Nigerian Army Officers 2021 (Revised) obtained by SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters had stated that the President, by appointing Yahaya, hitherto the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai in the North-East and from Regular Course 37, puts the 24 top army officers from Regular Courses 35 and 36, on the path of forceful retirement.
Military sources had said Buhari might have appointed a less qualified Yahaya, from Sokoto State, based on the president’s usual ethnic and religious sentiments as seen in his other various appointments.
Checks by SaharaReporters on the army’s document showed that most of the officers in line of seniority following the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, are from the South-West, South-East or Christians.
Following Attahiru are; “Maj Generals J.O Olawumi from Ekiti, J.O Akomolafe from Kwara, C.O. Ude from Enugu, J. Oyefesobi from Ogun, M.O Uzoh from Abia, C.C. Okonkwo from Imo, M.S.A Aliyu from Zamfara, U.M Muhammed from Niger and B.M Shafa from Ogun.”
Others are; “N.E. Angbazo from Nasarawa, Y.P. Auta from Kebbi, A.S. Maikobi from Bauchi, B. Ahanotu from Anambra, S.A. Yaro from Bauchi, J. Sarham from Kano, H.E. Ayamasaowei from Bayelsa, O.F. Azinta from Enugu, B.A Akinroluyo from Ondo, KAY Isiyaku from Niger, AT Haman from Borno, A.M. Aliyu from Gombe, H. P. Z. Vintekaba from Taraba, K.O. The Kadiri from Lagos, and IM Yusuf from Yobe.”
The new army chief, Yahaya, now 55 years, was commissioned into the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps on September 22, 1990.
When Buhari appointed the present crop of service chiefs only in January, no fewer than 20 generals from the three services who were members of courses 34 and 35 were retired to pave way for them.