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New GOCs, FOCs, AOCs emerge soon

By Kingsley Omonobi
ABUJA—Indications emerged,  weekend, that new postings of General Officers Commanding of the Nigerian Army, Flag Officers Commanding of the Nigerian Navy and Air-Officers Commanding of the Nigerian Airforce whose appointment by the Service Chiefs had been stalled by the prolonged absence of the Commander-in- Chief, President Umaru Yar’Adua, from the country, would now be appointed following the resolutions of the National Assembly, last week, making Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the nation’s Acting President.

Also, the issue of the reviewed terms and conditions of service, TACOS, of the armed forces whose delayed implementation has caused unease in the military because of alleged insensitivity of the Ministry of Defence to the plight of soldiers, officers and specialists of the armed forces and equivalent is expected to be given accelerated attention by the Ag. President with a view to calming the nerves of agitated officers and men of the armed forces.

It was gathered that Jonathan has tactically given approval for the shake-up and retirement in the armed forces which had been on hold since November when the promotion of new Generals by all the services and other officers took place.

It was learnt that the absence of the President from the country who has to see and approve the postings and redeployment of very senior officers led to an embargo on the postings leading to a situation where Major Generals, for instance were kept in their former offices, performing the duties of Directors or assistant Deirectors when infact they should be either Principal Staff Officers or Commandants of Military Institutions.

Ideally, the President and Commander in the chief of the Armed Forces as the Chairman of the Defence and Services Councils is the only one to approve the postings of top military officers, after recommendations from the service chiefs, so that if there are petitions or appeals, the buck will stop on his table.

Vanguard recalls that as a result of this fears and the sensitivity involved in Command and Control, the Acting President decide to fill the vacuum created by this problem and has given his nod for the long awaited postings and retirements in the armed forces to take place.

Meanwhile, Vanguard can report authoritatively, that the Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan is pleased and comfortable with the present leadership of the military because of the manner they were able to hold the armed forces together and ensure they stuck to the constitutional responsibilities during the over 70 days absence of Mr. President and the political logjam that followed..

Presidency sources disclosed that immediately the Acting President took over, he directed that the military echelon carryout the long awaited postings and reshuffle in the armed forces which the affected officers have been anxiously waiting for.

It will be recalled that the Chief of Defence Staff, Air chief Marshal Paul Dike, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Abdurahman Dambazau, his Naval counterpart, Iko Ishaya Ibrahim and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal oluseyi Petirin  had last Thursday visited the Acting President in the Presidential villa to pledge their unalloyed loyalty and support to him.

On the terms and conditions of service, Vanguard gathered that the matter which was extensively deliberated upon first by the Defence headquarters and later by the Servicesw headquarters after President Yar’adua had given the greenlight for the review, had been causing unease following the decision of the Ministry of Defence to sit on the recommendations after it has been unanimously agreed among the services that it was in line with the security agenda of the present administration.

Hence there is quiet optimism that Acting President Goodluck Jonathan who would be happy with the fact that the armed forces remained loyal and observed military surbodination to civil authority despite severe political pressure on them these past months, would reward them with a better terms and conditions of service.


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