President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday the 27th of May 2021 approved the appointment of Major General Faruk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff.
Major General Yahaya now replaces Late General Ibrahim Attahiru who died in an ill-fated aircraft crash on the 20th of May 2021 alongside 10 other military personnel.
His appointment as the new Chief of Army Staff comes just days after late General Attahiru was laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery Abuja and the announcement was made via a press statement signed by the acting Director Defence Information Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu and made available to Roots TV on Thursday 27th of May 2021.
While reactions trail the appointment of the new COAS, here are a few things you should know about him:
Major General Faruk Yahaya was born on the 5th of January 1966 in Sifawa, Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto state.
He started his cadet training on the 27th of September, 1985, and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps on the 22nd of September 1990.
Maj. Gen. Yahaya is said to have 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).
Major General Faruk Yahaya 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 also said to be a 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.
It won’t be out of place to state that Major General Faruk Yahaya does have big shoes to fill with his appointment as the new Chief of Army Staff as many Nigerians look forward to a true end to the many security challenges plaguing the country. Given his very colorful credentials, will the new COAS Maj. Gen. Faruk Yahaya live up to the expectations of all and sundry? Nigerians can only hope so.