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Vol 42 No 9

Published 4th May 2001


Nigeria

Exit top brass

Big policy differences are behind the departure of three military chiefs

Did they jump or were they pushed? The retirement on 24 April of the Chief of Army Staff, General Victor Malu; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Ibrahim Mahmud Alfa; and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Victor Ombu, has rekindled conspiratorial talk about coup plotting and dawn broadcasts. A group of middle-ranking officers passing through London and Washington last month confirmed that the military was in restive mood and unhappy with its lot under President Olusegun Obasanjo's government. That doesn't mean a coup is imminent, though - still less that the long arm of former President Ibrahim Babangida had been pushing Malu to challenge Obasanjo, as some of the country's livelier newspapers suggest.

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