GOCs, FOCs, AOCs, Generals, others to be affected
A major reorganisation exercise is expected to take place in the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), following the appointment of new Service Chiefs on Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari. Those affected by the development included the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt- Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as well as Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar. The development came after serving for five years and six months in their respective offices.
They were replaced with Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor (CDS); Maj-Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim (COAS); Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo (CNS), as well as Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao (CAS) respectively. Investigation by New Telegraph revealed that following the latest appointments, the new Service Chiefs will carry out major reorganisations, which will cut across both tactical and operational levels of the three services.
The implication is that many General Officers Commanding (GOCs), Flag Officers Commanding (FOCs), and Air Officers Commanding (AOCs) currently serving, may be affected by new postings expected to happen shortly after the new Service Chiefs assume their respective offices.
A senior military officer, who spoke in confidence with this newspaper, said what happened on Tuesday, will lead to the retirement of many officers within the ranks of Major General and Brigadier General. According to the source, who spoke in confidence, those likely to be affected are officers within the rank of Major General, who are senior to the newly-appointed military heads.
This, he explained, was because an officer is not expected to serve under his junior as Chief. “Looking at the seniority roll of the Army, Navy and the Air Force, all those officers from the bar, those that were senior to the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Air Staff, will be retired because they are not expected to serve under their juniors as Service Chiefs.
“So, that will be the first thing that will happen to the Armed Forces,” the source said. “After they have taken that cut-off point, maybe some of them who are GOCs are likely to be affected. “So, you are going to see retirement of many Generals, especially those of the rank of Major General and Brigadier General are most likely to be retired,” he said. Another source, who spoke in a similar vein, stated that once that was done, new appointments and postings to tactical and operational commands will take place. His words: “When they are retired, the next thing you are going to see is appointments at the various sensitive positions in the military, especially operational. “For instance, who are the officers likely to be GOCs (Army), Flag Officers Commanding (Navy), and Air Officers Commanding (Air Force)?
“It may lead to retirement of all officers that are senior to the present Chiefs. “Then, especially in tactical and operational areas, a new bloc is going to be engendered, because by the time you retire all these people, you create a vacuum. “Some of these young officers, who have been trained in one tactical area or the other, they want to show what they are; that look, if we are given the opportunity, we are going to do our best.”
Meanwhile, findings at the Services’ headquarters in Abuja indicated that some of the ex-Service Chiefs were still coming to office. An officer, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said it was not out of place for them to resume duties despite their replacement, since they needed to prepare their hand-over notes.