The Nigerian Army has announced the promotion of 421 of its top officers to new ranks.
Details of the promotion is contained in a Nigerian Army memo signed by GAT Ochigbano, a major general, and exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES. The memo is referenced; AHQ MS/G1/300/252/2.
The memo, which is dated November 25, 2020, according to Mr Ochigbano, is made pursuant to the powers conferred on the Army Council by virtue of Section 10 (1) and 11 (b) of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“Consequently, the Army Council has approved the promotion of the underlisted officers to the rank of major general, brigadier general, colonel and lieutenant colonel with effect from dates shown against their names,” the memo reads in part.
The promotion list contains 39 brigadier generals who were promoted to the rank of major general while 97 colonels were moved to the rank of brigadier general.
Also, 105 lieutenant colonels were promoted colonel while 180 majors became lieutenant colonels.
However, the newly promoted officers are barred from using their new ranks until they are formally decorated.
The instruction reads; “Officers will not wear their new ranks until they are officially decorated by their commanders. The promotion will be promulgated in the Army Orders and Federal Government Gazette in due course.
“Please note that the information contained in this document must not be reproduced for any reason or circumstance without recourse to the Army headquarters, Department of Military Secretary.”
Among the beneficiaries of the mass promotion is a colonel and former commander of the Nigerian Army 5 Brigade, Gubio, Borno State, I.A. Ajose, whose command fell to Boko Haram terrorists on August 10, 2019.
Mr. Ajose, alongside others, were in September 2019 withdrawn from the battlefront over the attack which caused the loss of several soldiers and a large quantity of weapons, which were carted away by the insurgents.
Two major-generals, B.A Akinroluyo and CG Musa, who were the theatre commanders of Operation Lafiya Dole and Sector 3 Operation Lafiya Dole respectively, were also withdrawn and sent to the training and doctrine headquarters as a form of punishment.
The Sector 3 Operation Lafiya Dole, which was overseeing northern Borno and Sector 3 Multi-National Joint Task Force, was also in control of the 5 Brigade in Gubio.
It could not be confirmed whether Mr Ajose had missed promotion in the past over the development or not. But with the latest development, Mr Ajose has now become brigadier-general, with effect from August 12, 2020.