•Buratai still chief of staff, says Army
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has rewarded two senior military officers and a subaltern of the Nigerian Army for gallantry in the fight against insurgency in the North-east as he approved their accelerated promotions.
A statement yesterday in Abuja by Army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, said the president endorsed the promotion of Chief of Training and Operations at the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Major-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun to the rank of Lieutenant General.
Also promoted is the General Officer Commanding 7 Division and Commander Sector 2 Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri, Brigadier-General A. Biu, who was elevated to the rank of Major General.
Lieutenant A. J. Danjibrin of 211 Demonstration Battalion Bauchi was also promoted to the rank of Captain.
However, the promotion has sparked speculations that Adeosun might replace the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
But another statement by the Army last night stated clearly that Buratai remains the Chief of Staff.
However, THISDAY checks showed that such accelerated promotion is not new in the army.
Former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Martin Luther Agwai (rtd), also enjoyed similar promotion.
Others who were beneficiaries of such elevation in the past include former Military Adviser for Peacekeeping Operations and former Force Commander of the United Nations Mission (UNAMIL) in Liberia, Lieutenant General Chikadibia Obiakor (rtd) and Major General A.K. Alkali, former Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).
The statement said the officers were granted promotion for “their extra-ordinary feats, courage, exemplary leadership, loyalty, uncommon commitment and valour in the counter insurgency operation in the North-eastern part of the country.”
“The present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to demonstrate total and unflinching support to the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the bid to effectively contain the security situation in the country, especially activities of terrorists in the North-east.
“In particular, the government has shown commitment to recognising excellence, dedication and commitment on the part of personnel of the Nigerian Army.
“It is in this wise that the President, Commander-in-Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the accelerated promotion of two senior officers and a subaltern of the Nigerian Army.
“The officers are granted promotion for their extraordinary feats, courage, exemplary leadership, loyalty, uncommon commitment and valour in the counter insurgency operation in the north-eastern part of the country,” the statement added.
A second statement issued by Army Headquarters last night entitled “Specially/newly promoted Lieutenant General L.O Adeosun is still the Chief of Training and Operations Nigerian Army” and said “contrary to fake news going round insinuating or suggesting appointment of Lieutenant General LO Adeosun as Chief of Army Staff of the Nigerian Army, members of the public are hereby once again informed that Lieutenant General LO Adeosun has just been given special/accelerated promotion from Major General to Lieutenant General and formally communicated to him by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TY Buratai”.
It said: “Lt-Gen LO Adeosun is only granted special promotion by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forced of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for his extra ordinary feats, exemplary leadership, loyalty and uncommon commitment in the counter insurgency operation in the North-eastern part of Nigeria.
“He still retains his appointment/position as Chief of Training and Operations of the Nigerian Army. Any contrary information is baseless, fake news and should be disregarded.”