Press statement: Faceless military group warns of dangerous trend in the Nigerian Army

A DANGEROUS TREND IN THE NIGERIAN ARMY

There is a new dangerous trend in promotions and recruitment in the Nigerian Army, which should be firmly and promptly checked before it destroys the military and the country. This trend is clearly visible in the manner in which the current Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika is handling these two important aspects of running an effective army institution, which is very critical to the survival of any state. It appears that the Chief of Army Staff is on a specific mission, most probably, sponsored by some sinister dark forces bent on destroying the army and setting the country on the path of serious conflagration. From all indication General Ihejirika is deliberately and recklessly pursuing a plan to destroy the career of senior non Igbo officers while at the same time embarking on a massive recruitment of soldiers of Igbo stock in order to eclipse all other ethnic groups in the Nigerian Army. This is raising serious concern within the army.

Let us, first, examine the promotion exercises carried out in all the formations since the elevation of Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika to the office of Chief of Army Staff. We begin with the Ordinance Corps.

THE ORDINANCE CORPS

In 2010, the Ordinance Corps presented the following brigadiers for consideration for promotion to the rank of Major General:

1. Brigadier Kachallah of NDA Course 22

2. Brigadier Oginni of NDA Course 23

3. Brigadier Martins of NDA Course 24

4. Brigadier Ugwu of NDA Course 25

It is instructive to note that of these four officers it was only Brigadier Ugwu, the most junior who was promoted. As is well known Brigadier Ugwu was of NDA Course 25 but was eventually relegated to course 26. This promotion was cynically effected in order to elevate Brigadier Ugwu above the others who by this act, automatically lost their seniority. Thus Brigadier Ugwu is today, Ordinance Corps Commander ahead of all his seniors.

THE ARMOURED CORPS

The situation was no different in the Armoured Corps. In 2010 the following officers were promoted.

1 Brigadier Oshonowo of NDA Course 24

2. Brigadier Nwaogbo of NDA Course 25

3. Brigadier Awala of NDA Course 25

In appointing the Corps Commander, Lieutenant General Ihejirika sacrificed the vaunted military tradition of respect for seniority and competence. He by-passed Brigadier Oshinowo, who was the most senior and the overall best in NDA Course 24. Instead, General Ihejirika appointed Brigadier Nwaogbo Corps Commander. Obviously this happened because Nwaogbo is Igbo. Let us examine the Supply and Transport Corps.

SUPPLY AND TRANSPORT CORPS

A similar situation presented itself in the Supply and Transport Corps which recommended the following Brigadiers for promotion in 2011:

1. Brigadier Baidon of NDA Course 25

2. Brigadier Magaji of NDA Course 26

3. Brigadier Nienger of NDA Course 26

4. Brigadier Agha Okoro of NDA Course 28

It is astonishing that of these officers, only their junior Agha Okoro of NDA Course 28 was promoted. Clearly, this was done in order to give Brigadier Okoro undue advantage to take over from Major General Gana as Corps Commander.

CORPS OF ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

This dangerous trend was also noticeable in the Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. In 2011 the following Brigadiers were presented for promotion.

1. Ariende ( of Edo State)

2. Labaran

3. Amao

4. Adekanye

5. Chioba.

Since Labaran was already in the Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), where a Major General vacancy existed, he was lucky but Chioba was also promoted. Chioba’s promotion was to pave the way for him to emerge as Corps Commander of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

NATIONAL DEFENCE COLLEGE COURSE 18

Let us also consider the case of officers of the National Defence College Course 18

Of all the officers of NDA Course 33 who attended the National Defence College Course 18, only one officer was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. His name is Duru. The Igbo boy. This officer’s grade on the course was a High C. Many other officers on the course came out with C+ grades but were not promoted last year.

Col Oyekan who was outstanding in the course and even had an award was not promoted. Similarly Col Shodunke who also got an award, was not promoted. He only got promoted this year having lost seniority by one year. The scheme was to deliberately slow down Col Shodunke to give Duru seniority. What is even more diabolical about this terrible scheme is that the award-winning Col Oyekan is still languishing for a second year without promotion. The treatments meted out to these two officers become even more disturbing given the fact that both Shodunke and Oyekan were Directing Staff (DR), at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, an appointment reserved for only the most outstanding officers. The question that arises from all this, is, what should an officer do in the Nigerian Army led by General Ihejitika to get recognition? Mediocrity?

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE AS A CURSE

It appears that it is a curse for an officer to perform outstandingly and professionally in the Nigerian Army headed General Ihejirika. This can be exemplified by the case of Colonel Soleye, one of the finest officers of his generation.

Two officers from the same state , Ogun, attended the National Defence College, Course 18. Both of them hail from Abeokuta. They were Colonels Soleye and Fadunsi. The former came out of that course with C+ grade. He had a High C in his Senior Division Staff Course and C+ in his Junior Division Staff Courses. The other officer, Fadunsi had a High C grade in the NDC Course and a C grade in both his Senior and Junior Staff Courses. Yet this officer was promoted ahead of Soloye who has a National Honour for Gallantry in Liberia as a platoon commander. Col Soloye also had various awards from the then Chief of Army Staff. But he is now languishing for a second year without promotion. Reason? his outstanding personal and professional records. The plan here, just as in the case of Oyekan, is to slow down this rising star that might get in the way of Igbo officers “destined” by General Ihejirika to rise above him. By the way, Soleye’s type of gallantry in Liberia was not the cash and carry type. He almost lost both of his legs in trying to save his soldiers’ lives. Investigation has also revealed that he has so far no disciplinary case against him. Lieutenant General Ihejirika is still not done. He pursued his fiendish scheme with NDC Course 19.

NDC COURSES 19 and 20: EXCELLENCE AS DAMNATION

Let us again examine the case of NDC Course 19. Two officers excelled in that course: Col Unuigbe and Adefarati. Col Unuigbe not only came third, but also had an award for his performance. He was also given a commendation by the Chief of Army Staff and recommended to return as Directing Staff. He is still a Colonel!! Colonel Adefarati was also outstanding. Although he came 5th in that course, he was also denied promotion.

This deliberate destruction of the careers of diligent officers has continued with NDC course 20.

Col Olu who came 1st in the course, was for some strange reason not promoted. Of all the officers on the course who were due for promotion, only two were promoted. These are Colonels Egbudon and Okonkwo who coincidentally happen to be Igbo.

The most shocking was the case of Colonel John Enenche who is Idoma. Enenche had two Chief of Army Staff commendations, one National Honour and very strong C+ in the course. Yet he was denied promotion in order to, just like in the case of Col Soleye, to slow him down for General Ihejirika’s kinsmen to catch up,with them in the Corps of Engineers.

CRUDE MANOEUVRES

Let us go back to the Corps of Supply and Transport where two Brigadiers were retired, thus creating two vacancies for promotion. The two officers retired were Magaji and Baidom. The Corps had only one officer to present for promotion to Brigadier. This officer is Colonel Jidda who is a former Directing Staff at the Command and Staff College, Jaji. Col Jidda also graduated from the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru with a B Grade. Colonel Jidda was not promoted in the last promotion exercise. The point here is that there were vacancies for two but only one was available. A good officer at that, but he was denied promotion. The only reason for this is that the other officer , Col Anene, an Igbo, who could have been presented alongside Jidda for promotion could not be presented because he was in NIPPS, Kuru on a course. If Jidda had been promoted, he would have automatically gained seniority over this Igbo officer. The idea is for Jidda to wait for the Igbo boy to graduate from NIPPS so they can be presented next year with other officers from NDC course 21. Most likely, some Igbo officers would then edge out Jidda who will then suffer the faith of Col Oyekan and Col Soleye.

Similarly in the Finance Corps, a Brigadier General was retired thereby creating vacancy for promotion. So far only one officer has been presented for promotion for two consecutive years without success. This officer is Colonel Rufus Adejoro who graduated from NDC with a C+. It is obvious that Col Adejoro who is on his last lap is being deliberately kept for age to catch up with him, so that when next he is presented along with a suitable “Kith and Kin” he will be edged out.

Furthermore, there is the case of Brig. Gen M. L. Raji of the Artillery Corps. This officer was wrongfully accused of releasing a Boko Haram terrorist from detention. Although Raji was court martialled he was cleared of all charges and acquitted. As is well-known, this officer’s record has always been outstanding. He was clearly heading to the top but had to be slowed down for others. Having been cleared of all charges, he was presented for promotion in 2011 but was denied. The idea was to stigmatize him. He was again denied promotion in 2012. This means he is now in a precarious situation.

PROMOTING MEDIOCRITY AND NEPOTISM

In some instances it appears that Gen Ihejiriaka is not only interested in advancing the interests of his kith and kin but is also hell bent on promoting mediocrity in the army. We can illustrate this by taking the case of NDA Course 29. This course has many outstanding officers but pre-eminent amongst these is Brigadier General Oyebade.

Brigadier Oyebade not only had a B grade in his Senior Staff Course in Pakistan, he achieved an A Grade in National Defence University in Pakistan. Brigadier Oyebade was a Directing Staff (DS), in the Staff College, Jaji and Defence College, Abuja. However the officer was denied promotion in the just concluded exercise.

Still on NDA course 29. Brig. Odunukwe of the Corps of Signals had to be promoted at all costs during the last promotion, otherwise age would have caught up with him on the rank. He just had to be promoted. This explains why he was promoted alongside two other signal officers. Out of the three promoted, two are Igbos, the other being Brig Orji. Again for Orji, he was in a tight spot. This was his last chance, but because Ihejirika did not want his calculations to appear obvious, he inserted a Yoruba officer, Ologundudu, to smoke up people’s vision.

It should be mentioned that many Igbo officers who have an age problem were not presented with letters of retirement unlike others who have since been eased out without a chance to progress. A case in mind is that of Brig Gen U.M Danko from Bauchi who was never presented for any promotion board since he was promoted in 2008. Nefariously, the officer was blocked from being presented three times so that age will catch up with him.

In course 30 of NDA, four (4) officers were presented but none was promoted. These officers include Brigadier P.A.T Akem, S. Abubakar, Ebenebe and Okoh. The reason is that if any were to be promoted, it would have to be an Igbo officer. It would difficult to drop Akem, a Tiv officer or, Abubakar an Igbirra officer, both with very good records. General Ihejirika therefore preferred to sacrifice Ebenebe and Okoh, who in any case did not have age on their side, for officers from junior course (SS 26). The idea again being that for every promotion he must insert an Igbo. For example, he picked Duru from course 33, leaving behind Akem whose records are outstanding or Abubakar who did very well in NDC.

SINISTER MOVES

Gen Ihejirika’s entrenchment of mediocrity and nepotism in the Nigerian army becomes clearer when we consider the promotion and postings of Brigadier Onoeveta. This officer was the ADC to the late President Umary Yar’adua, who was central to the scheme to deploy soldiers at the airport when the late Yar’adua was flown into the country from Saudi Arabia. He did so by disobeying the Chief of Defence Staff, National Security Adviser and the acting President. He prevented Acting President Goodluck from functioning until the death of President Yar’adua. Curiously after the death of President Yar ‘adua, Brigadier Onoeveta’s colleagues were summarily retired or denied promotion. For example, Brigadier Mustapha, the Commander Guards Brigade is still a Brigadier years after the death of President Yar’adua. However, not only was Brigadier Onoeveta a crafty never-do-well Officer promoted, he has also been elevated above all his seniors who are known in the army to be far more solid and diligent officers than him. Mention should also be made here of Brigadier S.D Bala, Dadan Garba, D.E. L Yakubu, Oyekan, Akem and S. Abubakar, Soleye, Adefarati, Olatunde and Jidda, Marmoni, A.M Aliyu etc. all officers who have made their mark in the army as we mentioned above. The question that arises is: what explains the retention and the preferential treatment being given to Brigadier Oneveta, who is notorious for mediocrity. One plausible explanation for this elevation of mediocrity is that it is a calculated attempt to achieve certain sinister or diabolical objective perhaps known only to General Ihejirika and the dark forces behind his actions.

DISREGARD FOR ARMY COUNCIL DECISIONS

The pursuit of General Ihejirika’s evil agenda also manifest themselves clearly in his disregard for decisions of the Army Council. As the table below shows the Army Council approved the retirement of 11Major Generals but General Ihejirika retired 12. Similarly, 26 Brigadiers were retired instead 25 approved by the Council while 13 Colonels were retired instead of the 12 approved.

Analysis of Retirement in the Nigerian Army

Rank                             Retirements Approved by Army Council                Retirements Carried Out

Major General                                            11                                                                                12

Brigadier General                                     25                                                                               26

Colonel                                                        12                                                                                13

Total                                                           48                                                                                 51

The unauthorised officers retired were:

Major General O. Akinyemi                    N/6071                                                              South West

Brigadier General U.M Dank                  N/7178                                                             North East

Col F.C. Adaka                                            N/8876                                                            South South

IHEJIRIKA’S IGBO ARCHITECTURE

General Ihejirika’s Igbo architecture becomes very clear when we look at the disposition of Brigadiers holding strategic positions in the Nigerian Army today. Just consider this:

Brig OKORO is the sector commander in UNAMSIL( Liberia).

Brig DURU is the Director of Logistics in NDC, being prepared for a higher position.

Brig CHIOBA is the de facto oga in AHQ Policy and Plans.

Brig EGWUAGU is the Director at AHQ in charge of recruitment, positioning and promotion of all soldiers in the NIgerian Army!

Brig EBENEBE is the Director of operations in AHQ.

Brig OKOH is the Acting Chief of Logistics in AHQ. His three Directors are all Igbos.

Major General BUZUGBE is the Military Secretary in charge of postings, retirements etc.

RECRUITMENT OF SOLDIERS INTO THE NIGERIAN ARMY DEPOT, ZARIA

This attempt to Igbonise the Nigerian Army becomes clearer when we look at the pattern of recruitment of soldiers into the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, under General Ihejirika. As the table below shows, there has been a massive recruitment of soldiers from his ethnic group to the disadvantage of others.

For example, Abia state, the home state of General Ihejirika, with a population of only 2.8 million has so far had the largest share of recruits, 450, far above Kano with a population of 9.3 million and Lagos with a population of just over 9 million and Kaduna with a population of just over 9 million. These states have so far had 259, 255 and 382 recruits respectively. The case of Ebonyi is also symptomatic of this glaring lopsidedness in the recruitment figures. Thus although 377 were recruited from Ebonyi with a population of just 2.2 million, Oyo State with a population of 5.6 million had only 282; Katsina with a population of 5.8 million had only 248; Lagos State with a population of just over 9 million had only 255 and only 271 was recruited from Plateau state with a population of of 3.2 million.

When the same table is analysed on zonal basis, General Ihejirika’s bias in favour of his zone also becomes patently clear. The South east geopolitical zone with a population of 16.3 million has so far had the highest recruits – 1925. The North West, which is the largest geopolitical zone with a population of 35.8 million, double that of South East, has only 1949 recruits. Similarly, the South west geopolitical zone with a population of 27.6 million has only 1561 recruits. Thousands of qualified recruits from these states have had their applications turned down by a kangaroo selection group set up by General Ihejirika.

GEOPOLITICAL ZONES          STATES      POPULATION  66 RRI   67 RRI   68 RRI    TOTAL

SOUTH EAST                              ABIA             2,833,999           155           143          152           450

ANAMBRA    4,182,032            93            105           115            313

EBONYI          2,173,501            126           141           110           377

ENUGU           3,257,928           114           129           110           353

IMO                3,934,899          153           129           152           432

TOTAL             16,382,359          641          647           639         192

SOUTH SOUTH                AKWA IBOM         3,920, 208           90          101              116          307

BAYELSA                1,703,358             67          144             105          316

CROSS RIVER            2,888,966           128          115             152         395

DELTA                   4,098,391             85          122             121          328

EDO                       3,218,332           90            103           108           301

RIVERS                      5,185,400           72           102            95           269

TOTAL                       21,014,655         532         687           697          1916

SOUTH WEST

EKITI                        2,384,212             52          87            93             232

LAGOS                       9,013,534             65         102           88             255

OGUN                        3,728,098            66          98            96             260

ONDO                        3,441,024            68          100           99            267

OSUN                         3,423,535             71          98             96            265

OYO                           5,591,589            77          102            103         282

TOTAL                      27,581,992         399         587           575         1561

NORTH WEST

JIGAWA                        4,348,649               68           82             101           251

KANO                           9,383,682                76           72              111           259

KATSINA                      5,792,578                71            80              97           248

KEBBI                          3,238,628                91           77              99            267

KADUNA                       6,066,562              138         100             144          382

SOKOTO                       3,696,999               67          92              90           249

ZAMFARA                        3,259,846               72          117              94          283

TOTAL                             35,786,944             583        620           736         1939

  1. TIno Reply

    The faceless military group can go and hug a transformer.First of all, all promotions are recommended by the army council and approved by the president. Secondly, where was this faceless group when the nigerian army was practically a northern nigeria army for decades after the civil war and promotions were practically denied to people from ihejirika’s area.

    If the faceless group is serious let them call for a sovereign national conference. Idiots

  2. Jossyone Reply

    I just dey laugh at these stupid group of idiots called faceless soldiers, do not worry you would soon get a face when the yawa gas. Why did you not challenge the NDA school in the north, or the school of strategic studies and the rest that are in the north. Gen Ihejirika is practicing what he met in the army because the northern crops of the army have been the sole benefactor of being the head of the army even though they had more refined igbo soldiers. Just one chance that an igbo man has now become one that your head is bursting loose. Death awaits all of you because this is mutiny and you all must go down for pointing accusing fingers against your boss. Today, an igbo person that managed to get to the top by due process and hard work will never be allowed to do the work assigned, look at Ote Arunmah, look at Uzomah of immigration, now is the turn of Ihejirika, my friends you are just wasting your time because this is the beginning. Ranting of ants why not proceed to overthrow the government to make your dirty voice heard?

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