Thursday, 31 January 2013


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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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 who 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.
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.
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.
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 both 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.
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.
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
RankRetirements Approved by Army CouncilRetirements Carried Out
Major General1112
Brigadier General2526

The unauthorised officers retired were:
Major General O. AkinyemiN/6071South West
Brigadier General U.M DankoN/7178North East
Col F.C. AdakaN/8876South South

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.
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.
66 RRI
67 RRI
68 RRI


AKWA IBOM3,920, 20890101116307
CROSS RIVER2,888,966128115152395





      F.C.T Abuja1,405,201785451183
Is this not a scheme for the eventual total takeover of the Nigerian Army by one ethnic group? Does this not give a hint of some sinister moves by the Chief of Army Staff and some dark forces outside the the Nigerian Army?  Is this an attempt to repeat the 1966 agenda, according to which all non Igbo senior officers were eliminated and replaced, as shown below,  by Igbo officers appointed by General Ironsi, on 17th january, 1966?
SerialNameCommandEthnic group
1Lt Col George KuruboChief of Staff Nigeria AirforceIbo, East
2Lt Col NjokuCommanding Officer 2nd BrigadeIbo
3Major H. IgbobaCommanding Officer 2nd Battalion Ibo, East
4Major. G. OkonwezeCommanding Officer, Abeokuta GarrisonIbo, Mid West
5Major NzefiliCommanding Officer 4 BattalionIbo, Mid West
6Major OcheiCommanding Officer Federal GuardsIbo, Mid West
7Major D. OguneweCommanding Officer1BnIbo, East
8Lt Col BasseyCommanding Officer 1 BrigadeEast Non Ibo
Major OkoroCommanding Officer,3 BattalionIgbo, East
10Major F AkaghaCommanding Officer Depot.Igbo, East

The recent postings of the officers of the Nigerian Army, has confirmed our earlier observation of the dangerous trend in that important state institution.  The  on-going attempt to Igbonise  the Nigerian Army has been given further impetus, as the table below brings out clearly. This dangerous trend has to be stopped to avert a looming disaster.
NoNamePostingEthnic Group
1.Major General EmekaCommandant, Nigeria Defence AcademyIgbo
2.Major General UmahiGOC 81DivisionIgbo
3.Major General NwuagoCommander, Armoured CorpsIgbo
4.Major General ChiobaCommandant, DICON, KadunaIgbo
5.Major General OdunukweDirector of Operations, Army HeadquartersIgbo
6.Major General NwuagboChief of Training Operations, Army HeadquartersIgbo
7.Major General OrjiCommander, Corps of SignalsIgbo
8.Brigadier General AzintaBrigade Commander, CalabarIgbo
9.Brigadier General EgwuaguDirector Army RecruitmentIgbo
10.Brigadier General Okorie AffraCommandant, NYSCIgbo
11.Col AneneCommander, AHQ S&TIgbo

What is the ultimate Igbo agenda that General Ihejirika is pursuing? Is there a plan by these dark forces  to recklessly pursue some form of vengeance  for  perceived    Igbo loses of the civil war? Is it therefore not a mere coincidence that Chinua Achebe’s unashamed fabrication of Nigerian history in the  book,”There Was a Country”, appeared at this point in time?  Has President Jonathan, on the advice of the late General Azazi, unwittingly created  a Frankenstein monster, by appointing Ihejirika  to the position of COAS and retaining him even after he was due to have retired?  The President, the National Assembly, the Minister of Defence and the National Security adviser should know that the actions  and inactions of General Ihejirika portend great danger for the army and the country at large. A disgruntled officer corps is a recipe for disaster. It means the army will lack unity, cohesion and purpose. It will be  pre- occupied with fighting itself, as our terrible experiences of 1966 -67 showed. Already, information filtering out of the barracks indicate rising tension which is unconnected with the injustices  discussed above. There are even reports of officers moving their immediate families out of the barracks, away from harms way. President Jonathan needs to act and act NOW. He must not allow himself to be a  pawn in a grand design to destroy his government by brewing the kind of discontent within the Nigerian Armed Forces which could become contagious and eventually engulf the entire society?

Group for the Salvation of the Nigerian Army and the Motherland.