As FG asks 100 Military Generals to go, expert says Tinubu took best decision

“Nigeria has highest number of Generals most promoted even when they are not qualified”

Below is the reason why

By Samuel Ogunsona

President Bola Tinubu took the best decision to ask some 100 Generals in the Army, Airforce and Navy to leave the service, former spokesperson of the Nigerian Airforce, Sadeeq Shehu (Rtd), has said.

He said the rate of promotion to the rank of Generals in Nigeria is riddled with corruption adding that most of them do not deserve to be promoted to the rank.

Shehu spoke in an interview with Arise News TV monitored by Irohinodua.

He maintained that Nigeria has one of the highest turn over of Military Generals in the world with negative implication for administration, command and cost.

He said traditionally, only 2-3% officers in each Regular Rourse (RC) from the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) should be made Generals but recalled that at present close to 40 percent of each RC become Generals.

Earlier, a statement signed by Maj. General Y. Yahaya on behalf of the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Maj. General Christopher Musa gave July 3, 2023, as the deadline for the officers to retire from the service.

Those affected cuts across the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Those given the deadline to retire voluntarily included officers of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Regular Courses 38, 37, and 36 and below.

According to Shehu, “However, what is important is that it is not normal for a military in any where in one goal to retire 100 Generals. We are talking about one hundred. By my own estimate, we have 133 Major Generals in the Army, Navy and Air Force.When the last set of service chiefs were appointed in 2022, we had another batch at about a hundred that left,” he said.

He spoke further “The issue here is when you look at the money that is spent on training these people, you know whether it is foreign courses or courses here, you know, the experience we are losing and the money we have wasted on these people and then you are telling them to go?”

On the other hand he said retaining them has serious implication for the national economy.

“Our President and Commander-In-Chief according to the constitutional requirement , I think section 217, he has the right to appoint Service Chiefs and the constitution does not tie his hands that in appointing Service Chiefs, he must pick either the most senior or middle senior or the most junior. It is completely within his rights to do that. But President Bola Tinubu met hundreds of Major Generals across the services. So to be honest with you, his work was not even easy in picking these service chiefs”

However, he said some of the problems associated with the appointment of new Service Chiefs included the over bloated service with too many Generals.

“I think here, it’s a problem that started long ago. We should not be having 350 Major Generals with the present peak. The services themselves either or the superintendent of the Ministry of Defense should approve that number. Approving that number you know, since we joined the military, the Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA, they would tell you the Military is a pyramid. I am a member of about 35 Regular Course. We have about 100 or 200 Generals. I cannot remember. In the Military, you will become Second Lieutenants, then Lieutenants then Captains. Now, to maintain that pyramid, the lower bottom of the military should be higher than the next higher level. What do I mean? Whether it is non-commissioned officers, you expect to have more Private than Lance Corporals, more Lance Corporals than Corporals. We are supposed to have a large base of Second Lieutenants who go out of NDE in the Navy, Air Force, and in the Army. As they progress into their second rank, that is full Lieutenants, this is almost automatic unless somebody dies or in very serious cases, almost all the Second Lieutenants will make Lieutenant rank”

He said but from the rank of Lieutenant when you are moving to Captain, that is where the process of filtering comes, probably you will be looking like 80 percent of Lieutenants will make Captain. From Captain to Major, you should know such a way from there, you have like 70percent.

The idea is that only two to three percent or five percent at most will make g

He said the tradition has changed.

“Now what do we have in Nigeria? According to the research I did, there are some courses that since they went out of NDA, about 44% of them became Major Generals. This is not a good way.”

He said Nigeria needs a well coordinated military personnel management system to forestall future occurrence

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