Abuja â€” Nigerian Army, yesterday, retired 51 senior officers, with their retirement letters stipulating that they proceed on terminal leave with effect from December 31, 2012.
Vanguard gathered that many of the officers protested to the Presidency and National Assembly over the retirement, claiming it did not follow the terms and conditions of service of the Armed Forces.
A breakdown of the retired officers shows that 12 Major-Generals, 24 Brigadier-Generals and 15 Colonels were served letters.
Among those retired is the former UN Force Commander in South Sudan, Major-General Moses Obi; Commander Infantry Centre Corps, Jaji, Major-General M. D. Isah, who also doubled as Cantonment Commander of Jaji Cantonment that was recently breached by suicide bombers.
However, Army Spokesman, newly-promoted Major-General Mobolaji Koleoso, said the retirement of General Isa had nothing to do with the Jaji bomb blast as he was already due to go.
He said the board of inquiry report on the Jaji incident was being studied and that Nigerians will be informed of the outcome at the appropriate time.
Reacting to the anonymous text message making rounds in the public domain alleging forceful retirements of some officers, Koleoso, Director of Army Public Relations, noted that it was not common for the Army to respond to such insinuations, but noted it was necessary to exercise the right of response in this case to put the facts before the public.
We followed rules, regulations– Army
According to him, the administration of the Nigerian Army, NA, as in any organisation, is governed by rules and regulations.
He said the 51 officers retired had been notified earlier in the year of their retirement, adding that most of them had voluntarily written regarding same.
Subsequently, the Army Council approved their retirement from service having attained the mandatory age ceiling for each rank.
He said retirement from any noble profession, especially the Army, was considered a noble exit, which every officer hoped and prayed for.