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Nigeria Army Chief: Tribe, other factors delay Attahiru’s replacement

The appointment of a replacement for the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru is being delayed by some factors. The...


The appointment of a replacement for the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru is being delayed by some factors.

The determinants include the experience, competence, tribe and region of the incoming successor.

It is believed the presidency is yet to decide due to the number of recommendations from the military circle and influential persons.

Major Generals being considered are either from the same tribe or same state with other security chiefs.

But some retired security officers with strong political connections are mounting pressure on the authorities to consider only competence, merit and war experience.

They are warning that any decision based on nepotism could spell doom for Nigeria in its fight against terrorism and banditry.

A retired military officer told PRNigeria that socio-political factors may play a role in the choice of the COAS appointment.

Noting that President Muhammadu Buhari has the discretion to pick anybody, he said individuals being touted are eminently qualified.

The source said qualifications, professional discipline, appointments, service command, operational experiences and managerial capabilities are usually assessed.

“They are suitable, but political consideration of regions, states and tribes may likely be some of the determinant factors.

“One of the latest names is Major General Jamil Sharham, originally of Regular Course 35 but running RC 36 seniority. He was the Sector Commander, Operation Restore Hope in the Niger Delta, and Brigade Commander at Baga in the North-East,” he said.

Sharham was Commandant, National Defence Academy (NDA); Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry, and GOC 6 Division. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

Sharham is from Kano, where the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, hail from.

The Chief of Policy and Plan (COPP), Major General Ben Ahanotu is an Igbo, like the current Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Lucky Irabor, though Anambra and Delta respectively.

Army Chief of Operation, Major General Ibrahim Manu Yusuf is from Yobe, the state of the Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba.

Reports had claimed that Major General Danjuma Ali-Keffi, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna, was appointed as COAS. There are 30 Major Generals ahead of him.



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