The President of Federal Republic, Muhammadu Buhari has on last week Thursday appointed Major General Faruk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
Major General Faruk Yahaya was the immediate-past Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, he was appointed the COAF after the passage of late Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a plane crash in Kaduna.
Buhari’s choice of Major General Faruk Yahaya was faulted in some quarters with critics arguing that the he should have considered a Southerner for the position.
However, the federal government and supporters insisted that appointments, especially in the security sector, are not done based on sentiments.
With Major General Faruk Yahaya’s assumption of office, 24 Major Generals are expected to retire from the Nigerian Army soon.
The Generals, 13 from the North and 11 from the South, were above Yahaya prior to his elevation.
A top retired military officer has revealed to PRNigeria that the Presidency picked the COAS because he is of the elite infantry corps, the combat and operation division of the Army.
“The Nigerian Army, as a multidisciplinary arm, has some Major Generals that are senior to Faruk Yahaya but are neither from combat nor in the combat supporting corps known as fighting arms.
“In terms of military operation, officers from the infantry, armour, and artillery are usually knowledgeable and skillful in counter-insurgency operations. Others from intelligence, signals, police and engineering provide supporting roles.
“The roles of Major Generals in the administrative and general corps such as Public Relations, Education, Medical and Chaplaincy among others do not include combat operations,” he said.
Recall that since the return of democracy in 1999, seven Christians and four Muslims have been appointed as the Chiefs of Army Staff.
Major Generals who became Lieutenant Generals included Victor Malu – Benue (North-Central) 1999-2001; Martin Luther Agwai – Kaduna (North West) 2003-2006; Alex Ogomudia – Delta (South-South) 2001-2003; Owoye Andrew Azazi – Bayelsa (South-South) 2006-2007; Luka Yusuf – Kaduna (North-West) 2007-2008.
Others includes Azubuike Ihejirika – Abia (South-East) 2010-2014; Abdulrahman Dambazau – Kano (North-West) 2008-2010; Kenneth Minimah – Rivers (South-South) 2014-2015; Attahiru Ibrahim – Kaduna (North West) Jan-May 2021; Tukur Buratai – Borno (North East) 2015-2021.
General Yahaya who is now the new Chief of Army Staff, is a Muslim from Sokoto (North-West), and he assumed office on May 28, 2021.
General Yahaya has on Monday, addressed Principal Staff Officers and Field Commanders at the Army Headquarters in Abuja.
He vowed to command the military arm to win all land battles in defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria, protect national interests and accomplish tasks in support of civil authority.
Yahaya pledged the “commitment and loyalty” of the Army to Buhari, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
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