The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor has intervened in the cold war in the military, which was brought about by the appointment of Major General Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff.
The appointment of the new army chief by President Muhammad Buhari, saw to the sending of 29 ‘Course 36 Generals’ on annual leave.
Sources disclosed that contrary to the belief that Yahaya’s appointment as COAS was only causing tension in the Army, the fall-out has also spread to the Navy and Nigerian Airforce as Course 36 Officers of the ranks of Ait Vice Marshall and Rear Admirals were also affected in both services.
A signal for the intervention meeting with the CDS with Reference DH/ABJ/401/38/ADM dated June 4, 2021 which was signed by Rear Admiral AB Adamu on behalf of the CDS, revealed.
It referenced the initial letter of the annual leave by Army headquarters saying “Ref A (NOTAL) under the cover of Ref B (NOTAL) approved the commencement of annual leave in respect of Maj Gen JB Olawunmi (N/8795) and 28 others who are members of 36RC in the NA.
“The senior officers were to proceed on the annual leave wef 1-30 June. However, I am directed to invite all serving members of 36 RC in the AFN (Maj Gen and equivalent) to a meeting with the CDS as follows. Thursday, June 10, 21; DHQ Conference Hall; 11.00hrs prompt.”
At the meeting, Gen Irabir told the seniors Officers that Following the approval of MOD, Minister of Defence, members of regular course 36 across the three services to proceed on courses of their choice for the next one year.
He emphasized that they have not been retired but that Major General Farouk Yahaya needs the space and environment to carry out his mandate as the new COAS.
A source said while some of the Generals will proceed to the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos, some would go to the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Badagry on course and some may proceed abroad depending on their choices.
“The scenario is one that shows that since All Course 36 regular intakes cut across the three services,the general in the army alone cannot be asked to proceed on forced annual leave. Their counterparts in Navy and Airforce must follow suit, ” a source said.
Hence the Chief of Defence Staff summoned the meeting with all Course 36 regulars which Sources put at 60 officers with 29 from Army, 17 from Navy and 14 from Airforce, and listed out the opportunities open to then to further their carreers in the services and these were as directing Staff in tri-service institution, research fellows at research and development institutions and Instructors at Special Forces Training Facilities.