Revealed: Why Top Military Generals Were Asked to Retire Before Monday

  • The Defence Headquarters has ordered some top military generals to retire with immediate effect on or before Monday
  • Maj Gen Y. Yahaya, on behalf of the chief of the defence staff, gave the directive in a memo dated June 26
  • The development was in line with the military tradition that when a new service chief was appointed, their senior would proceed on compulsory retirement

Top generals in the military who were seniors to the newly appointed service chiefs have been ordered by the Defence Headquarters to voluntarily retire from service on or before Monday, July 3.

According to The Punch, the directive was contained in a memo signed by Maj Gen Y. Yahaya on behalf of the chief of the defence staff and was dated Monday, June 26.

Why does the military orders top generals to retire

The memo ordered the generals, brigadiers-general, air vice marshals, and rear admirals in the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force, who were seniors to the newly appointed service chiefs.

Following the appointments of the service chiefs by President Bola Tinubu, it was reported that top military bosses would be retired afterwards.

The senior officers’ retirement in the three military services was by the long-standing army tradition that senior officers to the service chiefs would be retired.

The tradition required that when a junior officer is appointed as a service chief, the senior officers ahead of the new appointees will proceed on retirement.

The military traditions around retirement of top generals

This is due to the fact that senior military officers would most likely not take orders from their juniors.

President Tinubu approved the immediate retirement of the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, among other service chiefs appointed by ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.

Other affected service chiefs were Lieut Gen Farouk Yahaya, the Chief of Army Staff; Air Marshal Oludayo Amao, the Chief of Air Staff; and Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, the Chief of Naval Staff.

The President subsequently announced their replacement with the new military chiefs.