Army Chief Removes Buratai’s Loyalist, Appoints New Spokesman
The Chief of Army Staff, Maj. Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim, has appointed a new Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Yerima, who takes over from Brig Gen Sagir Musa.
According to military sources, Musa is a staunch supporter of outgone army chief, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.), and engaged several public relations underdogs to ensure damage control of failed army operations under the outgone army chief.
Musa, despite his perceived inefficiency and failure to respond to public enquiries or appear on national televisions, was spared by Buratai because he was a “good boy.”
As of Tuesday morning, Musa still used Buratai’s photograph as his display photograph on his WhatsApp line.
The embattled army spokesman, Musa, due to his growing public ineffectiveness, had to get a long retired army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman (retd.), to appear on national televisions and speak on topical issues.
“It became so evident during the October 2020 #EndSARS protest that the army did not have a spokesman. There was no competent voice to speak for the army and the man had to be engaging the services of PR managers and one of his retired predecessors to do his work for him.
“But Buratai spared him because he was his boy and the then army chief cared less about the opinions of top officers that the director was not competent. So he had to go; it was not a surprise,” one of the sources said.
Yerima, a one-time director, Defence Information, was until his appointment the deputy director reserve at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
He is believed to be more experienced and qualified than Musa, being a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations as well as African Public Relations Association and Fellow of West Africa Society for Administration and Communication.
The new Army Spokesperson was a participant at Senior Strategic Media Operation programme at Reach Cambridge and at Kofi Annan Centre, Ghana. He also a attended Senior Leadership Course at Sheringham United Kingdom and undertook a US-Embassy funded Media tour of Africom in Stuttgart, Germany.
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