Officers of the Nigerian Army have been sternly warned by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, to steer clear of politics and politically related issues.
The warning was issued following reports that some civilians approach some officers for undisclosed political reasons.
In a statement released on Tuesday, May 16 by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. General. Sani Usman, Buratai stressed that the Nigerian Army will remain apolitical and respect the Nigerian constitution at all times. It reads:
“This is to inform the public that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General TY Buratai, has received information that some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons. On the basis of that, he has warned such persons to desist from these acts.
He also reminded them that Nigerian Army is a thorough professional, disciplined, loyal and apolitical institution that has clear Constitutional roles and responsibilities. Therefore, he seriously warned and advised all officers and soldiers interested in politics, to resign their commission or apply for voluntary discharge forthwith.”
Furthermore, Nigerian Army officers were warned that anyone found hobnobbing with such elements or engaged in unprofessional conducts such as politicking would have himself or herself to blame.
The COAS reiterated that the Nigerian Army will remain apolitical and respect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, investigations reveal that the recent redeployment in the Nigerian Army was connected to the coup rumours and Buratai had vowed to crush any coup plot against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
At the meeting in the presidential villa, Buratai was said to have presented Osinbajo with intelligence that some prominent politicians were hobnobbing with Army officers and soldiers in a bid to compromise them.
It was gathered that Osinbajo thanked Buratai and said he trusted the Army Chief to put his officers and soldiers in check.
Consequently, Buratai swung into action after hinting that he would carry out “immediate changes” to counter any plan to topple the Buhari administration.
And on May 10, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, Director Army Public Relations released a statement stating that: “In a bid to re-strategize, the Nigerian Army has posted in 147 officers into Operation LAFIYA DOLE, some Divisions, formations and training schools”.
In the new postings, Major General RO Yusuf, Commander, Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps, was made the Commander Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Minna, while Major General A Oyebade, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division Nigerian Army, moved to the Army Headquarters as Chief of Logistics (COLOG).
Major General AM Dikko was posted from the Office of the National Security Adviser to 1 Division as GOC, while Major General I Attahiru was made the Theatre Commander, Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
Major General LEO Irabor moved to Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), as the Field Commander, while Major General PJ Dauke was posted from 3 Division to 81 Division as GOC and Brigadier General BI Ahanotu made the Acting GOC 3 Division.
The erstwhile Registrar of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Brigadier General IM Yusuf was appointed as the Acting GOC 7 Division and Brigadier General SO Olabanji, the Commandant of Amphibious Training School Calabar, was named the Acting GOC 8 Task Force Division.
The GOC 81 Division, Major General EB Oyefolu, was named the Commander, Nigerian Army Training Centre (NATRAC), Kontagora, while Brigadier General MG Ali, was moved to Nigerian Army Special Forces School Buni Yadi, as Commandant from NATRAC.
Brigadier General IM Obot was named Brigade Commander 26 Task Force Brigade, while Brigadier General AO Quadri was moved from the Office of the Chief of Army Staff to 25 Task Force Brigade as Commander.
More so, some Commanders and Staff Officers at the Defence, Army Headquarters and Brigades were also affected in the reshuffle.