Following an increase in Boko Haram attacks in the North East, the Army high command has removed Major General Ibrahim Attahiru as the officer leading troops fighting the war, and replaced him with Major General Roberts Ibe Nicholas.
Attahiru lasted just seven months in the post, and has now been reassigned to the Army’s policy and planning department.
An army statement signed by spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman, did not state reasons for the change.
There has been an upsurge in suicide attacks carried out by Boko Haram in recent weeks.
The new man:
- Before his posting, Maj. Gen. Nicholas was the Army Chief of Logistics, a post he held for just four months.
- Prior to that, he was the Commander of Operation Safe Haven, the Special Military Task Force responsible for maintaining the peace in Plateau, parts of Bauchi and Southern Kaduna.
- An indigene of Imo state, his governor Rochas Okorocha, is very proud of him. In June last year, Nicholas was celebrated by the Imo Government for achieving the feat of becoming the first Imolite to attain the rank of Major General under a civilian regime. If he performs diligently in his new role, who knows, he may get a statue in Imo state. Now that would be a well deserved statue.
- Nicholas’ appointment should also be good news for rights campaigners. As the former Army chief in charge of Civil-Military Affairs, he is a public proponent of cordial ties between the army and citizens.
“The era of harassment, beating, living above the law is over. The military must respect the constitution.
“We are here to interface with you to see how we can move this country forward,” he said at an interactive session in 2015.
- It was while in the role as Army Chief of Civil-Military Affairs that he pioneered a relationship between the military and Nollywood, in which he offered support to filmmakers who intended to make movies about the Army. One such collaboration resulted in the movie “76”, which told the story of the botched 1976 coup d’etat and featured stars like Ramsey Nouah, Chidi Mokeme and Rita Dominic. The movie was shot at the Mokola Barracks in Ibadan.