Senate has confirmed the appointment of Major General Faruk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
Gen Yahaya’s confirmation followed the consideration of a report by the Joint Committee of Defence and Army.
He was appointed on May 27, 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari following the death of the former chief of army staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru, in a plane crash, which occurred in Kaduna on May 21, 2021.
Before his appointment, Yahaya was the General Officer Commanding Division 1 of the Nigerian Army and Theatre Commander of the Counter Terrorism, Counter Insurgency military outfit in the North East codenamed Operation HADIN KAI.
The chairman of the joint committee, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (APC, Sokoto North), in his presentation, said the members were satisfied with the comprehensive and robust nature of the engagement and interactions with the nominee during the screening exercise.
He said Yahaya’s nomination was in line with section 217 (2abc) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and in accordance with the provision of sections 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap A20 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Wamakko said the committee did not receive any petitions on the nominee and was cleared by the Department of State Security Service (DSS).
Senator Wamakko said during the screening exercise, “The nominee’s knowledge of the strategic capabilities of the Army was exhaustive and impressive.”
“He showed a clear knowledge of the Army with apt for a Chief of Army Staff. Despite the Army being the largest of the Armed Forces, the nominee was clear in his vision to encourage joint operational synergy with other services for success in all theatre of operations”, he said.
The lawmaker further noted that the nominee agreed on the need for the command to have more transparency and disclosure to the committees on security in the legislature in order to ensure a harmonious working relationship, considering that they are critical stakeholders in the security sector governance.
Giving insight into the dynamics of the challenges of the North East, Wamakko said that the chief of army staff disclosed to the committee that under his command in January 2021, Nigerian troops advanced into enclaves of Shekau-led position in Alagarno forest-Timbuktu triangle axis.
Senator Ali Ndume said, “Due to the nature of the appointment as part of our security apparatus, the committee decided to do the screening in a closed session after the preliminaries.”
Senator Gabriel Suswam, on his part, said given the track record of the nominee in the Nigerian Army, he is rightly equipped with the required experience to sufficiently tackle the issues of insurgency and terrorism bedeviling the country.
In his remarks, Senate President Ahmad Lawan commended the committee for doing a thorough job and urged support for the military in the fight against insecurity.
He said, “Let me also remark here, that what our country faces may be military, but the military alone cannot resolve the security challenges. The military needs the support of each and every single citizen of this country.”