Despite denials by the Nigerian Army that the appointment of Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) will not lead to the mass retirement of other serving Generals, 29 Army Generals have reportedly been forced to retire from service.
It was reported that the Generals, mainly from the Regular Course 35 and 36, had to make way with the appointment of Yahaya who is a member of the Course 37.
Yahaya was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace the late Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a military plane crash in Kaduna alongside 10 other officers on May 21 while on an official assignment.
In the military tradition, it is understood that once a junior is appointed as a service chief, senior officers who are ahead of him are forced to proceed on retirement as it would be abnormal for senior military officers to take orders from their juniors.
With the appointment of Yahaya, a much junior officer, there were fears that high ranking officers would be forced to retire.
However, the Defence Headquarters had, in a statement, dismissed the speculations of massive retirement, saying the retirement of senior officers from the military was always ‘voluntary’.