Several news blog including theconclaveng.com, everyday.ng, freshreporters.com, naijaonpoint, others reported that the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major-General Danjuma All-Keffi, has been named the acting Army Chief of Staff.
The claim that President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Major General Danjuma Ali-Keffi as the new Chief of Army Staff in acting capacity is FALSE.
On Friday 21st May 2021, news broke that a military airplane had crashed in Kaduna state, Nigeria, killing the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other senior officers.
On Saturday, the late Chief of Army Staff was interred at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja,
Also interred were Acting Chief of Military Intelligence, Brigadier General Abdulkadir Kuliya; Chief of Staff to the late COAS, Brigadier General Mohammed Idris Abdulkadir; Brigadier General Olatunji Lukman Olayinka, Aide-De-Camp to the COAS, Major Lawal Aliyu Hayat, and Major Nura Hamza.
Others were the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Taiwo Olufemi Asaniyi, Flight Lieutenant Alfred Ayodeji Olufade, Sergeant Opeyemi Isaiah Adesina, Sergeant Umar Saidu and Aircraftman (ACM) Olamide Matthew Oyedepo.
President Muhammadu Buhari described the officers’ death as a national tragedy and this was a trying period for the country, given that the dead officers were among the nation’s finest.
Amid the mourning of these military officers, several news blogs had reported that the President appointed Major General Danjuma Ali-Keffi as the new Chief of Army Staff in acting capacity.
The news on one of the blogs – naijaonpoint.com.ng reads:
“Following the death of Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Major General Danjuma Ali-Keffi as the new Chief of Army Staff in acting capacity.
“NaijaOnPoint.com (TNG) reports the appointment of Major General Ali-Keffi as acting Chief of Army Staff was confirmed late Saturday.
“Until his appointment, Ali-Keffi was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, who took over from Maj. General Usman Muhammad two months ago.
“He assumed duty as the 37th GOC 1 Division, Nigerian Army, in Kaduna State in March.
“TNG reports Alli-Keffi hails from Nasarawa State. He is a member of 38 Regular Course, trained in Mogadishu Battalion in the Academy. He is an alumnus of Bangladesh Defence College.”
Who is Maj.-Gen Danjuma Alli-Keffi
Checks by The Nation revealed that Maj.-Gen Danjuma Alli-Keffi, assumed duty as the 37th General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division, Nigerian Army, on Thursday, March 11 in Kaduna.
Alli-Keffi took over from Maj.-Gen. Usman Muhammed who has been redeployed to Defence Headquarters as the new Director Research and Development Bureau.
Both the new GOC and his predecessor were members of regular course 38 of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
As at the time of the report and in our quest to verify the claims, The Nation checked official information channels of the Nigerian Army and the Presidency; from the Presidential spokesmen – Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina – but found no information of such.
Checks by The Nation revealed that when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed new Military Service Chiefs, who replaced the former Service Chiefs who were appointed in 2015 on January 26, there was a formal pronouncement from the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, especially through his social media platforms.
A search through Garba Shehu’s social media page – Facebook and Twitter shows his last post was the president’s condolence message on the air crash that claimed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and other military officers.
While Femi Adesina’s last post was on President Buhari receiving a briefing on the Plane crash which led to the death of the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and others in State House on 21st May 2021.
The claim that President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Major General Danjuma Ali-Keffi as the new Chief of Army Staff in acting capacity is FALSE as there is no official disclosure on a new acting chief of staff.