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Southern, Middle Belt leaders flay demotion of General Adeniyi

By Seye Olumide and Kehinde Olatunji
11 December 2020   |   3:03 am
Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has flayed the Nigerian Army over the demotion of General Olusegun Adeniyi, by a rank. The forum also condemned the jailing of Adeniyi’s assistant for 28 days with hard labour.

Major-General Olusegun Adeniyi

Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has flayed the Nigerian Army over the demotion of General Olusegun Adeniyi, by a rank.

The forum also condemned the jailing of Adeniyi’s assistant for 28 days with hard labour.

In a statement yesterday, the spokespersons of the group, Chief Guy Ikokwu (South East), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South), Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), and Mr. Yinka Odumakin (South West), said it was unfortunate Adeniyi’s ordeal started with his complaints about those who sent him to lead troops to fight Boko Haram insurgencies with bare knuckles.

The forum described the embattled general as a combatant who has won so many awards and commendations for his command of Operation Lafiya Dole but has now lost many troops in combat recently, raising questions on what happened to the last $1billion released for armed forces to buy weapons.

The statement read in part: “The Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, General Olusegun Adeniyi, who once led the country’s onslaught against Boko Haram, was found guilty of violating some sections of the rules of engagement.

“Section 15 (g) of the policy specifically forbids personnel from ‘posting any video, audio, materials pictures during exercises/operations.’”

The forum noted that the court-martial, however, found Adeniyi guilty of producing and publicising a video on the counter-insurgency operation in the North East in a manner that embarrassed and ridiculed the armed forces and was demoted while his orderly, Tokunbo Obanla, a private, was also found guilty and sentenced to 28 days in jail with hard labour.”

The forum lamented that the Nigerian Army had in July ordered Gen. Adeniyi to face court-martial, four months after he was seen in a rare video confessing that Nigerian troops were being killed by Boko Haram terrorists.

The forum queried: while it might be said that the army was only enforcing its rule, why was the rule mute against northern Muslim officers who were accused of giving out the routes of our soldiers, who were brutally murdered over two years ago, to Boko Haram?

And what has the Air Force done to date over the controversial killing of Tolulope Arotile in Kaduna last year, an officer renowned for deadly exploits against Boko Haram?

According to the leaders, “It is an officer commended for conducting the good fight against Boko Haram who is being promptly court-martialled because he says he now lacks weapons.

This country is incomprehensible.”