Following the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru, in a plane crash on Friday, May 21, some news blogs and social media users are claiming that President Muhammadu Buhari has named Major-General Danjuma Ali-Keffi as the Acting COAS.
President Buhari appoints Major-General Danjuma Ali-Keffi as the Acting Chief of Army Staff
This claim is false. As of the time of filing this piece, PresidentBuhari has not appointed an acting COAS.
Attahiru and others were on Saturday, May 22, laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja.
However, as the nation mourns the passing of the senior military officers, some blogs reported that President Buhari has named Major-General Danjuma Alli-Keffi as the Acting COAS.
A blog, theconclaveng, claimed the president named Ali Keffi the acting COAS while “the search for a replacement for the late Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru, has begun.”
To confirm the authenticity of this claim, Legit.ng checked the official information platforms of the presidential spokesmen, Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina.
This newspaper also checked verified social media accounts of the presidential aides on new media, Tolu Ogunlesi, Bashir Ahmad, and Lauretta Onochie.
At the time of filing this piece, there is nothing about the appointment of a new acting COAS on thee checked platforms.
Also, there is no reputable news media that has any report about the alleged appointment of a new acting COAS.
The official channels of the Nigerian Army and the Defence Headquarters also have nothing about the purported appointment.
However, a message sent to Adesina’s official Facebook page has also not been replied to.
Since the announcement of the incident, the official information from the presidency was the briefing of President Buhari’ and his condolence message wherein he described the military officers’ death as “one mortal blow” to the nation’s “underbelly”.
In the statement, the president made no mention of any appointment.
When President Buhari appointed Attahiru and other service chiefs in January, all the official channels of the presidency and its spokesmen publicised the development.
Media reports name Ali-Keffi as likely successor
As the nation awaits the appointment of a new COAS, PR Nigeria and a few other publications name Ali-Keffi as one of those likely to succeed Attahiru.
Major General Danjuma Ali-Keffi is currently the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna.
He was named alongside four others.
However, he and others listed in the report remain LIKELY successors. The Nigerian president is yet to appoint any of them.
The claim that President Buhari has appointed Major General Danjuma Ali-Keffi as the new Acting Chief of Army Staff is FALSE. At the time of filing this piece, three is no official statement to that effect from the presidency.
Meanwhile, the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Ambassador-Designate to the Republic of Benin, Lt Gen Rtd, Tukur Buratai has said that the late Chief of Army Staff, Attahiru, was on the verge of making Nigeria proud before his death.
The former COAS in his tribute said the late Attahiru had left no one in doubt as regards his determination to succeed in the various military operations across the country.
He said he was making progress in the counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts when the tragedy occurred.