By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA — The Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Tukur Buratai has carried out a massive shake-up in the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army that affected 95 generals. This came as President Muhammadu Buhari declared that Nigeria has taken the International Court of Justice ruling on Bakassi Peninsula in good faith.
The shake-up in the army also included the appointment of new General Officers Commanding the Divisions of the Nigerian Army as well as new Principal Staff Officers to run the affairs of Army headquarters.
Also appointed were new Corps Commanders, Special Task Forces Commanders, a new Commander for the Multi-national Joint Task Force to tackle Boko Haram; new Brigade Commanders as well as new Defence Advisers in Nigeria’s foreign missions abroad.
The new General Officers Commanding according to Vanguard’s investigations are Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, GOC ‘1’ Division, Kaduna. He was formerly the Deputy Commandant of the National Defence College, Abuja; Major-General L.C. Ilo is the new GOC 2 Division, Ibadan. He replaces Major-General SM Muazu who is appointed Commander, Infantry Corps, Jaji; Major-General H. Umaru is the new GOC 3 Armoured Division, Jos.
Others are Major-General MA Koleoso, new Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Minna. He takes over from the new Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Olonishakin. He was formerly Director of Administration at Defence Headquarters; Major General H. Edet, new GOC 81 Division, Lagos. He was formerly the Commandant, Nigerian Army Training Centre (NATRAC), Kontagora; Brigadier-General Ibrahim Attahiru, formerly the Brigade Commander, 13 Brigade, Calabar is the Acting GOC, 82 Division, Enugu. He takes over from Major-General S. Yusuf who is redeployed to Defence Headquarters as Chief of Training and Operations.
Among the new Principal Staff Officers at the Army headquarters are Major-General F.O. Alli, formerly the GOC 3 Division, Jos, now the Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP) at Army Headquarters; Major-General Ogunewe, formerly the Defence Adviser New York, is the new Chief of Policy and Plans; Major General Christopher Jemitola is the new Commander, Corp of Signal Headquarters, Lagos; Brigadier General A.T Hamman is the new Provost-Marshal, Nigerian Army; Brigadier General A.H. Sahad is the new Director of Defence Intelligence (DMI).
The new Commander of the Multi-national Joint Task Force with headquarters in N’Djamena, Chad is Major General Ilyasu Abbah. He was formerly the Military Secretary (Army). He takes over from the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Tukur Buratai.
Major-General L.W. Wiwa, formerly the Director of Military Intelligence, is the Deputy Commandant at the Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Oshodi; Major-General PAT Akem, formerly the Provost Marshall is the new Director of Administration at Army headquarters; Major General BT Ndiomu, formerly Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison, is posted to Jaji as Director, Simulation Centre; the new Commander of the Special Military Task Force (STF) Jos, is Major General C.O Udeh.
Brigadier-General SM Bello, formerly Brigade Commander, 34 Brigade Owerri, is posted to Army headquarters as Director of Operations; Brigadier General O. Ofoche is the new Brigade Commander, 34 Artillery Brigade; Brigadier-General AO Olabanji is the new Brigade Commander, 2 Brigade, Port Harcourt; Brigadier-General AM Dikko is the Acting Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison, Abuja. He was formerly Commander, 31 Brigade, Minna.
A new Acting Director of Defence Information has also been appointed. He is Colonel Rabe Abubakar. He was at one time, Commandant of the Nigerian Army Information School, Bonny Camp, Lagos. He is to take over from Major-General Chris Olukolade, formerly the DDI.
At the Defence headquarters, Major General Emmanuel Atewe, formerly Commander of the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, Yenagoa is the new Chief of Logistics; Major-General M.T. Ibrahim is the new Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
The 12 senior officers who are to proceed on a one-year course to the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) include former GOC’s, former PSO’s, former Commandants of Training Institutions and former Corps Commanders.
Nigeria has taken ICJ ruling on Bakassi in good faith, says Buhari
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Yaounde, Republic of Cameroon asked Nigerians to accept the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the oil-rich Bakassi Peninsula in good faith.
The President spoke during an interactive session with Nigerians residing in Cameroon.
Buhari left Abuja for Yaounde, yesterday, to hold talks with President Paul Biya on measures to end insurgency in the countries within the Lake Chad Basin commission.
Some Nigerians resident in the country had complained of inhuman treatment by the country’s authorities since the ICJ ruling.
According to President Buhari: “Since Nigeria allowed the case to go to court and we lost, we have to abide by it”. The President, however, assured them of adequate protection.
He also stated that the future of the country was bright even as he expressed optimism in the midst of the economic crisis the country was facing.
He said: “Fellow compatriots, permit me to say, as I have done during my inauguration on May 29, 2015, I am committed towards bringing positive change to Nigeria and I will do everything possible to achieve that. Despite the numerous challenges confronting us, the future of our country is very bright.
“You all know very well that your fellow Nigerians are resilient, hardworking and patriotic. These qualities have always seen us through our most difficult national challenges and they will do so now.
“However, this government’s job is to see that we unite and work together for the common good of our country. The recent economic downturn occasioned by the fall in oil prices at the global market, which drastically affects our national revenue, is a serious cause of concern to us.”
According to him, his government has taken measures to diversify the economy, even as he pledged total war on corruption.
President Buhari, however, urged the people to be mindful of Boko Haram activities, stressing the understanding between Cameroon and Nigeria.
“We must also support our gallant security and military personnel as they fight to defend our country. That is why we maintain these high level contacts with the government here and the reason why I am here. Nigeria and Cameroon share so much in common and the potential exists for even greater cooperation between our two countries.”
Earlier in his remarks, a Nigerian living in Cameroon, Paul Okocha told the President that Nigerian companies were contributing a lot to the economy of the country.
He pleaded the President to help liberalize international trade between both countries by completing a link road.
This is even as another resident, Ebere Valentine congratulated the President on his victory at the 2015 Presidential election, expressing hope that Nigeria would occupy its pride of place under Buhari’s government. “Your footprints have manifested in Nigeria and beyond since you became the President of Nigeria”, he said.
Nigeria to contribute 3,500 troops to multinational task force against Boko Haram
Also, Nigeria is to contribute 3,500 troops to the 10,000 multinational task force within the Lake Chad Basin that would be launched today in Cameroon.
The task force which was a joint initiative of the countries within the African sub-region will provide a military assault against the occupation of Boko Haram in the region.
Speaking to journalists in Yaounde, yesterday, shortly after the President arrived the country and entered into a closed-door meeting with President Paul Biya of Cameroon, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Ismail Aliyu, who was on President’s entourage said: “You know these preparations have been on for a long time and most of these participating countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin Republic making up Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon have all contributed their troops.
“Tomorrow (today) being July 30 is the last day for operationalization of the multi-national task force. Also as you are aware, the commander of the task force has been made the Chief of Army Staff of the Nigerian Armed Forces. A new one has been appointed. But that does not stop the operation from taking off, hopefully by tomorrow the operation will kick off.
“As usual, we are also pleading to all of us, irrespective of which country, to give this task force a chance to operate and succeed.”