FOLLOWING the promotions and postings of 27 major generals by the Nigerian Army Council, indications have emerged that the Army authorities have issued terminal letters to 30 generals, preparatory to their leaving the force between today, 31st December and 31st January 2014.
Among the generals that have so far received the letters are some principal staff officers at army and defence headquarters, commandants of tri-service institutions, corps-commanders, as well as those of Army-owned training institutions.
Nigerian Tribune gathered from authoritative military sources that while some of the generals have served the mandatory 35 years in service, others have been caught up by the age on rank requirement for retirement and some have become not promotable by virtue of the fact that they have not been successful with the promotion boards for the three scheduled opportunities.
On why such large number of generals would be allowed to leave service, even after President Goodluck Jonathan had, in the past, reiterated the need to keep these officers that cost the nation colossal amount of money to train, the source said; “Yes, the services of the officers would still be needed by the Army, but it will be in a different capacity.”
According to the military source, the top hierarchy of the armed forces is heavy and if the terms and conditions of service are not followed, the young officers will not get to the top too.
“For the sake of ensuring that the top of the service is not too heavy, thereby hindering deserved promotions and movement (postings) of officers with new ideas and innovations, these officers (retirees) have to be retired in line with the Armed Forces Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS).”
The source also disclosed that the ever dynamic internal security outburst spearheaded by the Boko Haram debacle, threats of kidnapping, armed robbery and renewed banditry along the nation’s border areas are also areas the army intends to pay more attention in the coming year.
“Towards this end, tested and highly trained officers who have garnered both local and international experiences, will not just be discarded. Their services will be required in strategic planning, training and support in dealing with moves aimed at containing and curtailing the myriads of security challenges facing the nation,” it was gathered.