This newspaper had broken the story that the officers have been served notice of retirement.
Among those affected was Major Gen. M.D. Isah, former commander of the Army Infantry School, Jaji, who was recently redeployed following a twin bomb explosion at the protestant church within the command.
Mr. Isah was retired even as the Army awaits the report of the Board of Inquiry set up after the explosions.
Our story, which did not speculate any motive for the retirements, however sparked speculations nationwide that officers from some sections of the country were targeted.
But the Army said Tuesday the retirement of the senior officers was in line with the harmonised “Terms and Condition of Services for Officers, revised in 2012’’.
Brig.-Gen. Bola Koleoso, Director of Army Public Relations, made the explanation when he briefed newsmen in Abuja on Thursday on the retirements.
Mr. Koleoso was responding to allegation of forceful retirements in the army being peddled through anonymous text messages.
He said the 51 officers comprising 12 Major Generals, 24 Brigadier Generals and 15 Colonels, were earlier notified in the year of their impending retirement.
“Subsequently, the Army Council approved their retirement from service having attained the mandatory age ceiling for each rank.
“Retirement from any noble profession, especially from the army, is considered a noble exit which every officer hopes and prays for.
“To now turn round to give such a milestone exercise a negative flavour is, to say the least, mischievous,’’ he said.
The army spokesman said the present leadership would continue to uphold its core values in line with the Chief of Army Staff’s vision of transforming the army into a force better able to meet contemporary challenges.
Mr. Koleoso advised any aggrieved officer to take advantage of the relevant provisions in the Harmonized Terms and Condition of Services Officers, 2012 (Revised) to appeal to the President through the Chief of Defence Staff.
He called on such persons to stop banking on ethnic and religious sentiments to pursue personal ambitions.
He also appealed to Nigerians to bear with the roadblocks and search operations of the army.
“The check points are not without their delays and I want to use this opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to please bear with us.
“We are trying our best to make sure that we get at undesirable elements before they strike,” he added.