Nigerian senate on tuesday confirmed the appointment of Major General Faruk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff, (COAS), following the consideration of a report by the joint Committees on Defence and Army.
General Yahaya was appointed on May 27, 2021 after the death of the former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, in a plane crash which occurred in Kaduna on May 21, 2021.
Before his appointment, the COAS was the General Officer Commanding, GOC Division 1 of the Nigerian Army and Theatre Commander of the Counter Terrorism, Counter Insurgency military outfit in the North East code named Operation HADIN KAI.
Presenting the report, Chairman of the joint committee, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, said the lawmakers were satisfied with the comprehensive and robust nature of the engagement and interactions with the nominee during the screening exercise.
According to the lawmaker, Gen. 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.
He disclosed that the committee did not receive any petitions on the nominee and was cleared by the Department of State Security Service, DSS, affirming that “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.
Senator Wamako 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.
He added that Gen. Yahaya underscored the need to ensure peace in the forthcoming elections, stressing that all hands must be on deck to deal with non-kinetic issues such as the settlement of Internally Displaced Persons, from Boko Haram’s insurgency.
Qualified for the role
In his contribution, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume said, “I want to appeal to the Senate, to expeditiously approve this confirmation so that the Chief of Army Staff be decorated accordingly to enable him start some of the jobs he cannot do now because he is still in acting capacity.”
Also, Senator Gabriel Suswam 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.
President of the Senate Dr. Ahmad Lawan, while commending the joint committee for a thorough job done, advocated for more support for the military in the fight against insecurity.
“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.
“In whatever capacity we find ourselves, either as legislators, government functionaries, businessmen or simple citizens, we must give the military the kind of support that it requires” he said.