By Emmanuel Udom
Elder George Okoye, Lagos Coordinator, Police Community Relations Committee, PCRC, in-charge of Area F Police Command, Ikeja, has frowned with the reports on the appointment of Major-General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army.
Speaking with our correspondent in Lagos yesterday, Okoye, wondered why about 20 Generals of Regular Course 35 and 36, are expected to proceed on retirement, due to the appointment of Yahaya, all in the name of military policies and traditions.
He explained that at this point in time when Nigeria is on tension triggered by insecurity, calls for a return to true federalism, state police structures, and other pressing and urgent demands, these experienced generals should be allowed to stay and tackle insecurity headlong, military traditions or no military traditions.
The impression created with the appointment which may or may not be wrong, is that none of the 20 Generals are competent enough to replace Attahiru, he said.
His words: “It is clear to everyone that our country is insecure and the APC-led federal government with Muhammed Buhari as president seems to be helpless in tackling the activities of terrorists, kidnapers, bandits, herdsmen, etc”.
“I am not an apostle of breaking up of Nigeria, as I still stand by the unity, peace and progress of our country, but with anger, frustrations and aggressions in our land, we need lots of prayers for the FG to fix Nigeria ahead of 2023”.
Okoye, also wondered why some people are playing up ethnic and religious politics in desperate attempts to further heat up the Nigerian system, instead of looking for proactive methods of solving the many challenges facing our country.
He declared that it is high time the FG make appointments based on merits, competence, and seniority, not using ethnic considerations.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Major-General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff.
Major-General Yahaya, replaced late Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a plane crash in Kaduna last Friday, alongside 10 other military officers, is of Regular Course 37.
However, media reports stated that the appointment was in order as it is the tradition in the military for senior officers to take a bow whenever a junior officer is appointed a COAS, as they cannot be saluting their junior officer.
With the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, being a Regular Course 34 intake, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, both being Regular Course 35 intakes, Major General Yahaya becomes the most junior service chief as Course 37, 20 Course 35, 36 generals face instant retirement.
The implication is that about 20 Major-Generals and Brigadier-Generals made up of five remaining Regular Course 35 intakes and 15 Regular Course 36 intakes would have to give way (proceed on retirement).