By Kingsley Omonobi
ABUJA—Defence headquarters yesterday clarified the retirement of some generals in the Armed Forces, and noted that many of such retirements arose from the fact that the officers involved had served 35 years in service or caught up with age on rank in accordance with the terms and conditions of service.
Vanguard recalls that in the wake of the change of guard in the armed forces resulting in the appointment of new service chiefs and a new Chief of Defence Staff, such officers as General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Kaduna, Major General Kamaldeen Role and the Chief of Policy and Plans at Army headquarters, Major General Atofarati both tendered their letters of voluntary retirement.
General Role indicated in his letter that having put in 36 meritorious years in service, it was time for him to go, while General Atofarati said he had served 35 years and sought to go also.
Major General Penap, who was the Chief of Training and Operations at Defence headquarters and was set to commence his pre_retirement leave before the retirement of his former boss, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, immediately proceeded on leave.
The former GOC 81 Division of the Nigeria Army, Major General Nwaguna, had also commenced his pre_retirement leave before the changes.
Others who had commenced their pre_retirement leave were the Commandant of Training and Doctrine Command, Major General Ogunedo, the former Chief of Logistics at Army headquarters, Major General Usman, and the former Chief of Administration at Army headquarters, Major General A.S. Jibrin.
A statement from defence headquarters read: “However, it came to the knowledge of the Defence Headquarters of rumours and insinuations being peddled by some uninformed people that some senior military officers were retired as a result of the appointment of the CDS and the new service chiefs.
“Defence headquarters wishes to disabuse the minds of the public that no senior officer was retired because of the recent appointments.
“Any officer that retired either retired voluntarily or had to retire because age caught up with him on his rank which is specified in the Harmonized Terms and Condition of Service that regulates the Armed Forces.
“We wish to state that Defence headquarters is guided by the provisions of the Harmonized Terms and Condition of Service and the rule of law”.