Buhari Appoints New Army Chief

President Buhari (left) with the new Army Chief, Gen. Yahaya

Following the sudden death of former Chief of Army Staff in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has named Major-General Farouk Yahaya as the new chief of army staff.

Yahaya, a major general, will replace the late Attahiru Ibrahim who died in a plane crash with 10 other officers with immediate effect. Prior to his appointment, Majo-General Yahaya was the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army and the theatre commander of a military counter-terrorism unit in the North East where Boko Haram and fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) have held sway.

Yahaya’s appointment comes six days after his predecessor Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others military personnel died in an air crash while on an official trip to Kaduna State. Buhari appointed Attahiru in January 2021 as part of a shake up in the country’s security architecture.

Although Buhari who just returned from a foreign trip to France did not attend the burial of the late general who died in the line of duty, the president said the crash “was one mortal blow to our underbelly, at a time our armed forces are poised to end the security challenges facing the country.”

Attahiru, Acting Chief of Military Intelligence, Brigadier General Abdulkadir Kuliya; Chief of Staff to the late COAS, Brigadier General Mohammed Idris Abdulkadir; Brigadier General Olatunji Lukman Olayinka, Aide-De-Camp to the COAS, Major Lawal Aliyu Hayat, and Major Nura Hamza have been buried last Saturday.

Others were the pilot of the ill-fated aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Taiwo Olufemi Asaniyi, Flight Lieutenant Alfred Ayodeji Olufade, Sergeant Opeyemi Isaiah Adesina, Sergeant Umar Saidu and Aircraftman (ACM) Olamide Matthew Oyedepo.

Profile Of The New Army Chief

The new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya was born on 5 January 1966 in Sifawa, Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto State. Maj Gen Yahaya who is a member of the 37 Regular Course of the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), started his cadet training on 27 September 1985 and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps on 22 September 1990. Maj Gen Yahaya has held several appointments including Staff, Instructional and Command.

Notable among the appointments held by the new COAS are Garrison Commander Headquarters Guards Brigade, Directing Staff at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Deputy Director Army Headquarters Department of Military Secretary, Deputy Director Army Research and Development and the Chief of Staff, Headquarters Joint Task Force Operation Pulo Shield.

He also served as the Principal General Staff Officer (PGSO) to the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Commander, Headquarters 4 Brigade and 29 Task Force Brigade (Operation Zaman Lafiya). He was also Director Manpower at the Army Headquarters, Military Secretary, Army Headquarters and General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division of the Nigerian Army.

Until his appointment as the COAS, Maj Gen Faruk Yahaya was the Theatre Commander Operation HADIN KAI, responsible for Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations in North East Nigeria.

The new COAS is a proud holder of several honours and awards, some of which include, Forces Service Star, Meritorious Service Star, Distinguished Service Star, Grand Service Star, Passed staff course (Dagger), National DefenceCourse (Chile), Economic Community of West Africa State Monitoring Group Medal, Command Medal, Field Command Medal, General Operations Medal, Silver Jubilee Medal and Golden Jubilee Medal. He is happily married and blessed with children.

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