The Nigerian Army has described as “unfair” and “unethical” some media reports which alleged that the compulsory retirement of some senior officers was an attempt by the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to purge the military of southerners and to strengthen the grip of northerners.
There were allegations that the senior army officers were compelled to retire because they were from the southern part of Nigeria and loyal to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
However, Sani Usman, the acting director, Army public relations, issued a statement on Sunday denying the allegations and insisting that the exercise was carried out in strict compliance with the country’s extant laws.
He said the reports were the handwork of “some mischievous elements who are trying to whip up sentiments.”
“This is quite unfortunate because all the affected officers were retired based on Service exigencies and in line with the Armed Forces Act, CAP A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004,” he said.
It would be recalled that on Friday, June 10, the Nigerian army announced the compulsory retirement of 38 senior officers for alleged partisanship during the 2015 general election.
The affected officers include 9 Major Generals, 10 Brigadier Generals, 7 Colonels, 11 Lieutenant Colonels and a Major.