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General Benjamin Ahanotu From Anambra State May Emerge New Chief of Staff – Insider

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Major General Benjamin Ahanotu, the Chief of Policy and Planning at the Army headquarters is in pole position to become the next Chief of Army Staff (COAS) sources at the Defence Headquarters told EPARLIAMENT on Sunday.

Gen. Ahanotu who hails from Anambra State, before now has served as the General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Jos, he  is one of the most senior officers eligible to take over the command after the unfortunate plane crash that claimed the life of Lt. General Ibrahim Atahiru, the immediate past COAS alongside other top army officers.

Gen. Ahanotu is a product of Regular Course 35 which ranks him among the most senior. The source who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the service told EPARLIAMENT that “Gen. Ahanotu is ordinarily the best man for the job. He one of the most senior and he understands the current ongoing war against the insurgency in the Northeast, in fact, he was a key part of the team that swooped in on Boko Haram in the early stage and arrested the man that started Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf.”

EPARLIAMENT findings also revealed that there also some other top army brass that are already jostling for the top job.

Some of the other senior and “outstanding” officers who are also being tipped for the assignment include, Major Gen. Danjuma Ali-Keffi, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division of Nigerian Army, Kaduna; Maj. Gen. AM Aliyu of Regular Course 36, who currently serves as the Chief of Administration and former Director Foreign Liaison at the Defence Intelligence Agency; Maj. Gen. Faruk Yahaya of Regular Course 37 from Zamfara State.  Gen. Yahaya is the current Theatre Commander Operation in the North-East and former General Officer Commanding Officer, 1 Division, Kaduna and the  Chief of Operation and former Force Commander Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Manu Yusuf of Regular Course 37 from Yobe State.

However, the Defence Headquarters source  noted that “the President and Commander in Chief reserves the right to chose whoever he feels comfortable to work with irrespective of seniority” because all the “Generals are ably qualified and can do the job.”

He warned that appointing a “much junior officer may lead to the retirement of about 35 Generals and Nigeria cannot afford such clean sweep under the current circumstances of serious security challenges across Nigeria because Nigeria needs all her tough and experienced officers now more than ever.”

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