Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika gave a shocking revelation Monday on the bomb attack at Jaji Cantonment last year which killed an Army General and several others when he disclosed that the then Commander, Infantry Corps and Centre, Jaji, General Mohammed Isa had security report 24 hours earlier of the plot to bomb Jaji but he chose to ignore the warning.
The army boss gave startling information at a briefing at the army headquarters. His words, “our Intelligence and Military Police departments had gotten information of a plan by terrorists to attack the Jaji Cantonment and the intelligence was immediately relayed to General Isa. The same report that Gen. Isa got was received by the GOC 1 Division on the day before the attack. “The GOC had to immediately cancel his trip and returned to base.
Isa did not act on the report. Isa did not give instruction to his subordinate. I was surprised when I saw Isa at the annual COAS Conference and I asked him, what he was doing in Asaba when his house was on fire”. The Army Chief disclosed that as a result of the in-action of General Isa then, the Nigerian Army lost a General in the bomb blast apart from those who were killed in the military protestant church. Vanguard had also reported that an Air Commodore of the AirForce, who was the Chief Instructor of the Air Force Wing at AFCSC, was also killed in the blast.
Lt. Gen. Ihejirika disclosed that the detailed investigations have commenced to determine whether Maj. Gen Isah’s inaction was due to negligence or a demonstration of further involvement in the bombings in which several officers and others were killed. Meanwhile, the Army Chief declared that the recent retirements, promotions, recruitment and deployments in the army were done devoid of ethnic and religious colouration, pointing out that the Army does not discriminate against any person on the basis of ethno-religious background.
He explained that the delay in the retirement of many officers in the last exercise who were due for retirement, months before last December 2012, was caused by the inability of the Army Council to sit over recommendations of the Board on promotions and retirements. According to General Ihejirika, the Army Council comprising, Mr. President as Chairman, minister of Defence, Permanent Secretary, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff, has to approve the retirement of any officer of the army before such officer can be asked to go.