…No it’s over Azazi’s death –Army
From UBONG UKPONG, Abuja
An expected disquiet was said to have engulfed Army formations across the country, as some senior officers were said to wear long faces, following the release of promotions of senior officers by the Army Council. However, in correcting the impression on the perceived sadness, the Nigeran Army High Command said the sadness was over the death of former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Andrew Owoye Azazi.
The council in a statement on Wednesday had announced the promotion of 22 Brigadier Generals to Major Generals, 37 Colonels to Brigadier Generals and 91 Lieutenant Colonels to Colonels, after what it would have considered to be a diligent process.
Among the new Brigadier-General is the former Aide-de-camp (ADC) to the late president Umaru Yar’Adua, Col. Mustapha Onoyivweta. However, the exercised seems not to have gone down well with certain persons who had continued to register their displeasure silently. Daily Sun learnt that the fear of stagnation was one that engulfed most army officers when the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika was retained, as they felt that they might never taste certain opportunities before their retirements. However, the exercise seemed to have allayed their fears and raised hopes, while for some it was unpleasant.
Daily Sun also learnt that while some officers, who felt that they were also due for promotion were showing displeasure, their godfathers were also displeased because they would have loved them to be elevated for undisclosed reasons. Equally, it was learnt that some top officers were not comfortable with the exercise, which by implication, would herald the retirement of some senior officers, to give rooms for new breed officers.
Whatever the case, for the Army, their reasoning were of no effect since, like the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Alex Barde had earlier stated, “promotion in the military is a privilege, not a right.” According to the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Mobolaji Koleoso, who was favoured in the promotion from Brigadier General to Major General, it was a normal situation in all organizations for some to express unhappiness if not favoured.
Recall that among those promoted to the substantive rank of Major General are Brigadier General NO Ojiji of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), the Commandant, Depot Nigerian Army, Brigadier General HA Salihu, Brigadier General SZ Uba of the Defence Headquarters, and Brigadier General ET Nienge of the Nigerian Army School of Supply and Transport. Others include Brigadier General David Enetie of Headquarters Infantry Corps Centre, Brigadier General Mashudy O. Adekanye of the Nigerian Army Ordnance School, Commander of 23 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brigadier General John N. Nwaoga and Brigadier General Patrick G. Ogah of Army Headquarters Directorate of Training and Operations.
The rest newly promoted Major Generals are Brigadier General Donald MN Oji of Nigerian Army Signals School; Brigadier General Tanko Y. Gaiya of the AFCSC; Brigadier General Bamidele O. Ologundudu of the Nigerian Defence College (NDC); Brigadier General Abbas O. Adekanye of the Central Workshop; Commander 1 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Tamunomieibi I. Dibi; Commander 2 Brigade, Brigadier General Tukur Y. Buratai; Commander 4 Brigade, Brigadier General Obi A. Umahi; Brigadier General Chuckwudi BB Odunukwe of the Directorate of Data Processing; the Defence Attache to China, Brigadier General Sulaiman D. Aliyu; Brigadier General Junaid S. Bindawa of the Nigerian Army Armoured School (NAAS); Brigadier General Obidah T. Ethan serving in the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL); Brigadier General Obasina A. Ogunbiyi of the Nigerian Army Medical Corps and Brigadier General Friday M. Airende of the Special Vehicle Plant.
Those promoted to the substantive rank of Brigadier General include Colonel Adekunle O. Shodunke of the Defence Headquarters (DHQ); Colonel Ahmed M. Sabo of Army Headquarters Directorate of Administration (AHQ DOAA); Commander 54 Division Signals, Colonel Joseph A. Orokpo; Colonel Ibrahim Attahiru of DHQ; Colonel Peter J. Dauke of NAAS; Colonel Henry E. Ayamasaowei of the Nigerian Defence Academy; Colonel Augustine CC Agundu of Army Headquarters Garrison, Colonel Okwudili F. Azinta of the Joint Task Force Headquarters (Operation Pulo Shield) and Colonel Dennis M. Onoyiveta of the DHQ who was a former Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to President Umar Yar ‘Adua, as contained in a release by the Army Headquarters.