By Okodili Ndidi Abuja
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday allayed fears of mass retirement in the military.
It was reacting to rumours of mass retirement in the military, following the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
Yahaya, a member of Regular Course 37, replaced the late COAS, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a plane crash on May 21 in Kaduna.
The media has been awash with reports of sacking of members of Courses 35, 36 and 37, who are mainly Generals, in line with military tradition.
But the Acting Director of Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, told reporters yesterday in Abuja that retirement for senior officers is voluntary.
He said: “At this point, you are all aware of the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya. This has stirred up a lot of rumours in the media about mass retirements in the military. I wish to use this medium to dispel such unfounded rumours. Retirement is only on voluntary basis for senior officers who desire to do so. At this point, no retirements have been authorised by the military high command.”
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Giving an update on military operations across the country, Onyeuko said the “un-relenting and committed” efforts of the troops had boosted the fight against criminality in the country.
He said: “Within the period in focus, troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria intensified their operational efforts in the fight against terrorism, banditry, hoodlums and militancy as well as other forms of criminality across all the geo-political zones of the country.
“Troops conducted series of clearance patrols, ambushes, raids, picketing, cordon-and-search operations as well as artillery bombardments.”
“Others are: anti-piracy, anti-illegal oil bunkering, anti-crude oil theft, anti-pipeline vandalism and anti-smuggling operations were also conducted within the period. There were also extensive air operations, which included air patrols, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions, offensive air strikes, air interdictions, search and rescue operations as well as close air support for ground troops. These operations within the period yielded appreciable results.”
The DHQ spokesman also gave an update on several other military operations across the country, highlighting the successes the troops recorded in the field.