There is a growing concern by some officers over recent postings in the Army. Their grouse, Nigerian Tribune gathered, has to do with the failure of the military authorities to adhere to the Federal Character Principle in the Nigerian Constitution.
Investigations by the Nigerian Tribune indicate that top commanding positions had been taken over by officers from Kano and Katsina, while Borno and a few states of the North complete the postings.
A review of recent postings, according to sources, showed that 90 to 98 per cent of soldiers in the Guards Brigade are from the Kano -Katsina axis.
Investigations also revealed that the command of fighting units, such as the one located at Jaji, Plateau State, had been ceded to candidates from the North.
It was also gathered that the 3rd Armoured Division in Jos was recently taken over by another candidate from the North-West during the recent Jos crisis.
Some beneficiaries of the recent postings include Brigadier-General Ram Mustapha (Guards Brigade), from Kano State; Lieutenant-Colonel M. Musa Gar; Commander, Guards Brigade Abuja, from Kano State; Lt. Col. U. T. Musa, Commander 4th Guards Brigade, Abuja, from Borno State.
There is also Brig.-Gen. S.N Muazu, Commander 9th Brigade, from Katsina State, while Brig.-Gen. Minimah, regarded as a professional officer, was moved to Defence Headquarters as staff officer. The Commander of Artillery Corps, who is described as another professional soldier, was recently retired.
A source said that some agencies monitoring the unfolding situation were planning to petition the Federal Character Commission (FCC).
Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution indicates that all sectors of the country are to be carried along in the affairs of the country.
“14. (1) (c) the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. (3) The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few state or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.
“(4) The composition of the government of a state, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the government or council, or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the federation.”
Sources said that some officers from other parts of the country were raising concerns that they were not being carried along in the unfolding exercise.
The issue of postings to the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta is also causing concern, according to a source. He said that the reality of the recent postings was fuelling insinuations that a section of the country was being unduly and strategically placed in command positions in the military.
It was gathered that some states in the Niger Delta spent between N200 and N300 million on JTF activities on a monthly basis but that fewer officers from the Niger Delta were being retained in postings to the operation.
Said our source:“There are strong grumblings among officers that they are being sidelined. Some of them are of the view that all recent postings in the military should be published. The Middle Belt is also being marginalised.”
A source said that the current fate of the Middle Belt is pathetic, as the leaders of the area believe that they have not reaped the benefit of helping to unite the country by fighting the civil war.
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