28 December 2013

Nigeria: In Major Shake-Up, Army Redeploys Senior Officers

Photo: Vanguard
Boko Haram

The Nigerian Army friday announced massive changes in the posts and positions of its senior officers in what it said was a continuous efforts to re-strategise its tactical and operational structures to effectively deal with the ongoing war against terrorism and internal insurrections.

One of the major changes in the new postings approved by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika was the replacement of the Commander of the newly created 7 Division, Maiduguri, in charge of military operations against Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.

In the statement signed by the outgoing Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, the former General Officer Commanding, 7 Division, Maj-Gen. Obidah Ethan, is now the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, while Maj-Gen Junaid Bindawa will take over his position as commander of the 7 Division combating the insurgents in the North East.

Some of the other senior officers affected include: Maj-Gen John Kwabe, now Chief of Logistics Defence Headquarters; Maj-Gen. Ugo Buzugbe, Commander Nigerian Army Armoured Corps; Major General Ebiobowei Awala, Military Secretary (Army); Major General Olufemi Adeosun, Director Policy, Defence Headquarters; Major General John Nwaoga, General Officer Commanding, 3 Division and Major General Chris Olukolade, Director, Defence Information.

Others include Major General Sunday Adebayo, Commander Nigerian Army Education Corps; Major General Mohammed Idris, Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy; Major General Mobolaji Koleoso, Director, Armed Forces Simulation Centre; Major General Letam Wiwa,

Director Military Intelligence; Major General Patrick Akem, Director Legal Service (Army); Major General Charley Okoro, Director, Peace Keeping Operations Defence Headquarters and Major General Modibbo Alkali, Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Artillery.

The list also included Major General Shehu Yusuf, Commandant Depot, Nigerian Army; Major General Ahmed Mohammed, Commander Nigerian Army Training Centre; Major General Iliyasu Abbah, Commander, Joint Task Force (Operation Pulo Shield); Brigadier General Arinze Ebenebe, Commandant Warrant Officers Academy; Brigadier General Ebenezer Ogundana, Director of Army Reserve Recruitment and Resettlement; Brigadier General Kasimu Abdulkarim, Director of Physical Training; Brigadier General Enitan Ransome-Kuti, Commander Multi-National Joint Task Force; Brigadier General Ibe Nicholas, Commander 23 Brigade; Brigadier General Ohifeme Ejemai, Commander 9 Brigade and Brigadier General Bright Fibionumama, Commander 3 Brigade.

Also affected in the redeployment are the DAPR, Attahiru who is now Commander,13 Brigade; Brigadier General Mustapha Onoyiveta, Head Nigerian Army Operations Monitoring Team; Brigadier General Lanre Bello, Commander 34 Brigade and Brigadier General Olajide Laleye who will take over as the substantive Director Army Public Relations among others.

According to Attahiru, the fourth quarter postings and appointments of its senior officers as released by the Army Headquarters "is part of the routine posting of senior officers in the Nigerian Army."

However, a security source in the Army has revealed that the changes were made with a special focus on the events in the North East, where the armed forces are battling the Boko Haram insurgents.

"You would recall that there had been some slight set-backs with the recent attacks at the Army Barracks in Bama and the Air Force Base in Maiduguri. So, the changes you are seeing are expected.

"Moreover, with the recent retirements and corresponding promotion of the new generals, these changes are inevitable," the source explained.

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