The Army high command and 38 senior officers retired last week were, yesterday, locked in a war of words over the latter’s mode of disengagement.
While the Army and Defence Minister, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali, said the officers were indicted for what they described as political and monetary corruption, some of the officers said they were not given fair hearing, arguing that they were neither involved in the 2015 elections nor in procurement of arms and ammunition used in the war against Boko Haram.
Those retired included nine Major Generals, 10 Brigadier-Generals, seven Colonels, 11 Lieutenant Colonels and a Major.
However, some officers who spoke to Vanguard, insisted the retirement was done out of mischief and vendetta, noting that many of them never appeared before any board of inquiry, neither did their offices have anything to do with the 2015 general elections for which they were being victimized.
One officer told Vanguard: “Look at the list of those retired. These are brigade commanders, GOCs and commanding officers, who served in all the states lost by the APC to PDP.
“What is our offence? Would we have forced the people to vote for candidates other than their choice?”
Another officer said: “Thank God, this is democracy and we have a right to be heard. They have done their bit but many of us have decided, we are going to fight this injustice in court.
“Some people cannot just arrogate power to themselves and ruin the careers of other persons who have given their all to the nation.”
Meanwhile, the Defence Minister in his remarks at a seminar held at Defence College Abuja, said: “There is political will under the Buhari administration to transform the armed forces.”
Emphasizing that the involvement of the military in policing duties around the nooks and crannies of the country was responsible for the Army getting involved in politics
Dan Ali said: “Of recent, most of the functions of the police had been taken over by the military. But we cannot just go and take away the armed forces from the streets.
It has to be a gradual process. “2015 election duties were not our responsibility. Our duties were only to support the police. The military was involved in too much professional corruption by way of partisanship. We were not to be seen near polling stations.