Why We Removed Gen. Mohammed After Soldiers Mutiny – Defence Headquarters
Reasons for the sudden removal of the general officer commanding (GOC), 7 Division of the Nigerian Army located in Maiduguri, Borno State, Major-General Ahmed Mohammed, have been revealed.
The removal was necessitated by the mutiny by some soldiers under his command.
The chief of defence staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, ordered the chief of army staff (COAS), Major General Kenneth Minimah, to immediately relieve Mohammed of his post in order to save the integrity of the military before the global community.
As soon as the order came from Abuja for his removal, Brigadier General M.Y. Ibrahim was named the acting GOC yesterday in order not to allow a vacuum in the ongoing operation against the insurgents. He was one of the lieutenants on the watch of Mohammed.
Mohammed was the GOC, 7 Division, until his removal on Wednesday evening when order came for his redeployment because of the mutiny that took place: some soldiers under his command opened fired in protest against his leadership style.
The Division was created primarily to fight the Boko Haram insurgency that was making life unbearable in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
According to a military source, since the emergence of General Mohammed as the commander of the Division, the counter-insurgency operation has been anything but successful. He was accused of being insensitive to the welfare and the aspiration of the soldiers under him.
“General Mohammed is a fine officer, no doubt, and that was why the COAS (Gen Minimah) appointed him the GOC of that all-important Division but his appointment has failed to yield any visible dividends. It was then that those terrorists became daring, attacking communities and towns at will, and this did not go down well with the military authorities.
“The soldiers were grumbling over their welfare, as if something was missing somewhere. So, that unfortunate incident became an eye opener to Abuja and, because of the timing, when all eyes are on us over how to free those Chibok girls, he has to give way to another officer,” the source said, recalling the abduction of the students of Government Secondary School, Chibok. The attendant problems were a stain on the record of Mohammed, but “for the fact that the COAS was expecting a change from him, he would have been removed immediately during the crisis”.
Meanwhile, the soldiers that mutinied against their commanding officer on Wednesday will be subjected to military disciplinary procedure that will forestall a future recurrence among officers, said the director of defence information, Major General Chris Olukolade.
Olukolade was in Maiduguri briefly on Thursday where he addressed newsmen on the incident that had also warranted the military top brass in Abuja, the nation’s capital, to remove the attacked GOC, Major General Ahmadu Mohammed.
“Normal military procedures have been instituted by the Nigerian Army to forestall a repeat of the Maiduguri incident where protesting soldiers fired into the air last Wednesday over the death of their colleagues, Maj- Gen Olukolade said.
Olukolade added further that, given the embarrassing incident, the Defence Headquarters had deemed it necessary to redeploy the GOC while an acting commandeer would take his place until a substantive GOC was announced later.
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