The Nigerian Army on Thursday said that the recent retirement of 51 officers from the service had no ethnic or religious undertone.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Bola Koleosho, said this while speaking to newsmen in Abuja, regarding the text messages being circulated by some people that religious and ethnic sentiments played out in the retirement.
He called the text messages untrue and mischievous, as he said the retirement was done in compliance with constitutional provisions and rules in the service.
“The officers had been given six months prior notice in order to put their retirement letters in place in accordance with the regulations of the service,” he said.
He added that the exercise was based on age limit for the various ranks and the stipulated 35 years of service.
He encouraged all aggrieved persons to follow due process and appeal to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Chief of Defence Staff rather than resort to ethno-religious sentiments.
“The administration of the Nigerian Army as in any organization is governed by rules and regulations. All the 51 officers retired have been notified earlier in the year of their retirement and many of them had voluntarily written regarding the same.
“Retirement from any noble profession, especially from the Army is considered a noble exit which every officer prays and hopes for. To turn around and give such a milestone exercise a negative flavour, is to say the least, mischievous.
18 of the officers were compulsorily retired, including Maj-Gen M.D. Isah, who was relieved of his position as the Commandant of the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps, on the aftermath of the bomb attacks on the Jaji Cantonment in November.
However, Koleosho insisted that Isah’s retirement was not in any way connected to the bombing as the service had not started acting on the report of the panel of investigation set up to probe the Jaji incident.