Apparently bracing up to tackle the growing attacks by daredevil terrorists in the nation’s capital and surrounding states, the Nigerian Army has redeployed 21 Major Generals and five Brigadier Generals in a major shake up to inject new blood into the system to tackle insecurity across the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieut Gen Faruk Yahaya, approved the appointment of General Officers Commanding (GOCs), Principal Staff Officers (PSOs), Commandants and other field commanders.
A statement by the director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, noted that the new posting was part of effort to reposition the Nigerian Army (NA) for operational efficiency and proficiency.
He said the COAS directed all the newly appointed senior officers to redouble their effort and commitment to duty in tackling the security challenges bedeviling the nation, as they assume their new appointments.
Nigeria has witnessed a spike in kidnappings and killings as the terrorists and bandits are reported to be within Abuja and environs and ready to strike at innocent Nigerians and foreigners alike.
On July 5, members of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) staged an attack on Kuje Correctional Centre near Abuja where they freed hundreds of inmates including over 60 members of the Boko Haram sect.
The advanced security team of President Muhammadu Buhari had also come under attack on its way to prepare for the President’s visit to his home town of Daura for the Eid celebrations. These sad events were quickly followed by an attack on Tuesday of the brigade of guards, the elite army unit where a captain and scores of soldiers were reportedly killed.
The response of the security agencies to these multiple attacks appeared to be feeble, fuelling fears about the inefficiency of the forces to protect themselves, not to talk of civilians.
The Army, in a bid to strengthen its formation against the terror group, released a posting on Thursday night which affected some senior officers of the Nigerian Army to command, instructional and staff appointments across army formations and units.
“Those affected in the redeployment released on Thursday 28 July 2022, include some Principal Staff Officers of the Army Headquarters, General Officers Commanding, Corps Commanders, Commandants of training institutions, Brigade Commanders, Commanding Officers, amongst others,” he said.
He listed the four senior officers appointed to include General Officers Commanding (GOCs), Maj Gen UT Musa, who has been moved from Headquarters 81 Division to Headquarters 82 Division; Maj Gen TA Lagbaja, appointed GOC and moved from Headquarters 82 Division to head Headquarters 1 Division; Maj Gen OC Ajunwa, appointed GOC and moved from Nigeria Defence Section Brasilia to HQ 81 Division, and Maj Gen AS Chinade, appointed GOC and redeployed from Depot Nigerian Army to Headquarters 2 Division.
The newly appointed Army Headquarters Principal Staff Officers include Maj Gen OW Ali, appointed Chief of Administration (Army) and moved from Headquarters Command, Army Records, to Army Headquarters Department of Army Administration; Maj Gen S Muhammed, appointed Chief of Army Standards and Evaluation and moved from Defence Headquarters to Department of Army Standards and Evaluation; Major General JA Ataguba, appointed Director, Peacekeeping Operations, and moved from Army Headquarters Department of Army Standards and Evaluation to Defence Headquarters; Maj Gen AA Adesope, appointed Chief of Defence Accounts and Budget and moved from Headquarters Nigerian Army Finance Corps to Defence Headquarters, and Maj Gen US Mohammed, moved from Army Headquarters Department of Administration to Nigerian Army Resource Centre as Senior Research Fellow.
Other senior officers affected in the redeployment are Maj Gen PB Fakrogha, from Defence Headquarters Garrison to Defence Space Agency and appointed director Policy Plans and Research; MajGen MO Enendu, from Nigerian Army College of Logistics to Defence Headquarters and appointed director, Psychological Warfare; Major General AE Attu, from Defence Headquarters Department of Defence Training and Operations to Defence Headquarters Garrison and appointed Commander, and Maj Gen BE Onyeuko, from Defence Headquarters Directorate of Defence Media Operations to Defence Headquarters Department of Logistics and appointed Director Procurement
The newly appointed Corps Commanders are, Maj Gen AM Alabi, from Nigerian Army Ordnance School to Headquarters Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps and appointed Corps Commander, Ordnance; Maj Gen A Mohammed, from Nigerian Army Farms and Ranches Limited to Headquarters Nigerian Army Electrical Mechanical Engineers and appointed Corps Commander Electrical Mechanical Engineers; Maj Gen E Akerejola, from Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport to Headquarters Nigerian Army Corps of Transport and appointed Commander, Corps of Supply and Transport, and Maj Gen AA Fayemiwo, from Nigerian Army Welfare Holdings Limited by Guarantee to Headquarters Finance Corps as Chief of Accounts and Budget (Army).
Those newly appointed as Commandants of Nigerian Army Training Institutions are Maj Gen PI Eze, from Defence Headquarters Department of Procurement to Nigerian Army Ordinance School and appointed Commandant; Maj Gen AA Adeyinka, from Army Headquarters Department of Army Logistics to Nigerian Army College of Logistics and appointed Commandant; Maj Gen PP Malla, from Army Headquarters Department of Army Administration to Depot Nigerian Army and appointed Commandant, and Brig Gen UT Otaru, from Defence Headquarters to Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport and appointed Acting Commandant.
Those newly appointed Brigade Commanders include Brig Gen DH Ndahi, from Nigerian Army Resource Centre to Headquarters 4 Brigade and appointed Commander; Brig Gen FS Etim, from Amphibious Training School to Headquarters 6 Brigade and appointed Commander; Brig Gen EA Orakwe, from Headquarters 6 Division to Headquarters 19 Brigade and appointed Commander; Brig Gen JO Are, from Army Headquarters Department of Army Standards and Evaluation to Headquarters 3 Brigade and appointed Commander, amongst others.
ECOWAS Issues Advisory On Movement In Abuja
Meanwhile, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) has warned all members of its staff and the Nigerian public about the infiltration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and its environs by terrorists and bandits who intend to kidnap people for ransom.
The West African regional bloc made this known in an urgent security advisory dated July 27, 2022 under the Immediate Security Advisory (ISA) it sent to its entire staff.
It noted: “This immediate Security Advisory is sent to all ECOWAS Staff to adhere with the current state of insecurity sweeping across the country lately.
“Intelligence reports warned of a plan by undesirable elements to infiltrate various parts of the country particularly state capitals including the FCT with the view to perpetrate crimes such as abductions and kidnappings for ransom, or as means of getting recruits for terrorists’ activities.”
ECOWAS warned its staffers to maintain environmental awareness on their routes and avoid late night outings.