The Nigerian Army has removed a senior commander who appeared in a video complaining about poor equipping of troops after an attack by Boko Haram left dozens of soldiers dead.
Olusegun Adeniyi, a major-general and commander of operation lafiya dole, Nigeria’s counter-terrorism headquarters in Maiduguri, was removed on Monday, according to a military press statement published by PRNigeria, a platform that publicises statements for security agencies.
Dozens of top generals were asked to switch positions effectively April 1 in a circular that went out on Monday, PRNigeria reported.
Although the army’s redeployments appeared routine, its timing has fuelled insinuations that Mr Adeniyi was the main target.
It came barely a few days after Mr Adeniyi was seen in a video complaining about the brazen nature of Boko Haram attacks on troops. He also complained that insurgents were outgunning troops and an intelligence failure was responsible for an attack that left dozens of soldiers killed last week.
The video became an instant hit on social media, sparking outrage and a relentless torrent of abuses against President Muhammadu Buhari and other senior military and government officials overseeing the war efforts. The military did not publicly comment on the video.
Sagir Musa, chief army spokesperson, did not immediately return a message from PREMIUM TIMES seeking comments about whether or not Mr Adeniyi’s removal from the frontlines was informed by his video last week.
Mr Adeniyi was moved to the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, a military facility for strategy and innovation based in Abuja, as “a research fellow.”
The new commander of the army’s operation against Boko Haram is F. Yahaya, a major general, drafted from Headquarters 1 Division in Kaduna.
PRNigeria listed all the army officers affected as follows:
Maj Gen ACC Agundu from Special Task Force (STF) Operation SAFE HAVEN Jos to Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) Abuja as Senior Research Fellow, Major General HI Bature from Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Defence Liaison Office National Assembly Abuja to Army Headquarters Department of Civil Military Affairs and appointed Chief of Civil-Military Affairs, Maj Gen UM Mohammed from Nigerian Army Property Limited (NAPL) to the Office of the Chief of Army Staff and appointed Special Adviser Nigerian Army University Biu/Deputy Chairman Board of Trustees NAPL.
Special Adviser Nigerian Army University Biu Maj Gen CC Okonkwo now redeployed to STF Operation SAFE HAVEN Jos and appointed Commander, Maj Gen F Yahaya from Headquarters 1 Division Kaduna to Headquarters Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE (OPLD) Maiduguri and appointed Commander, while Maj Gen OG Adeniyi is redeployed from Headquarters Theatre Command OPLD Maiduguri to NARC as Senior Research Fellow, Maj Gen S Idris from Sector 2 OPLD Damaturu- Yobe State redeployed to DHQ Abuja and appointed Director Liaison.
Others affected include – Maj General AA Adesope from Office of the Chief of Army Staff Directorate of Audit and Financial Management to NAPL and appointed Group Managing Director, Maj Gen MG Ali from Headquarters Theatre Command OPLD Maiduguri to Headquarters 4 Special Forces Command Doma, Nasarawa State as Commander while the erstwhile Chief of Civil-Military Affairs AHQ Abuja Maj Gen US Mohammed has been redeployed to 1 Division Kaduna and appointed General Officer Commanding. Similarly, Brig Gen HI Daniel from the Defunct Army Special Forces Command Maiduguri to Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command Minna and appointed Director Army Training Support, Brig Gen BE Onyeuko is to remain in DHQ Abuja as Acting Director Defence Media Operation.
Brig Gen NM Jega from Training and Doctrine Command Minna to Infantry Corps Centre Jaji and appointed Chief of Staff, Brig Gen LA Araba from Nigerian Army Welfare Limited by Guaranty Abuja now redeployed to Sector 2 OPLD Damaturu, Yobe State as Ag Commander, Brig Gen VO Ita from DHQ, Abuja to Headquarters 402 Special Forces Brigade Azare and appointed Commander while Brig Gen JAL Jimoh from Sector 3 Artillery Brigade OPLD Monguno to Headquarters 31 Brigade Minna and appointed Commander and Brig Gen GTO Ajetunmobi has been redeployed from 31 Brigade Minna to Nigeria Army Welfare Limited by Guaranty, Abuja as Executive Director Operation.
Others are – Brig Gen LG Lepdung from Headquarters Infantry Corps Centre Jaji to DHQ Abuja and appointed Deputy Director Procurement (Logistics), Brig Gen MO Ihanuwaze to remain in Office of the Chief of Army Staff Directorate of Audit and Financial Management as Acting Director, Brig Gen EC Obi – Osang from the defunct Headquarters 707 Special Forces’ Brigade Makurdi to Headquarters 401 Special Forces’ Brigade Makurdi as Commander while Brig Gen GM Mutkut is redeployed from the Defunct Nigerian Army Amphibious Command OPLD Baga to Headquarters 403 Amphibious Brigade Baga and appointed Commander and Brig Gen JR Lar from Nigerian Army School of Artillery Kachia to Sector 3 Artillery Brigade OPLD Monguno as Commander.
Also, Colonel DJ Abdullahi from the defunct Headquarters Nigerian Army Special Forces’ Command Maiduguri to Headquarters 4 Special Forces’ Command Doma Nasarawa State and appointed Acting Chief of Staff, Colonel EC Emere from Nigerian Army Archives to Nigerian Military School Zaria as Deputy Commandant and Col MO Agi is to remain in Headquarters Nigerian Army Armour Corps Bauchi as Acting Chief of Staff among others.