PROFILE: What you should know about Nigeria’s new chief of Army staff

ON Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Farouk Yahaya, a Major General, to replace the late Ibrahim Attahiru as the new chief of Army staff (COAS).

Yahaya’s appointment was contained in a statement signed by the Acting Director of Defence Information Onyema Nwachukwu.

Although his appointment is trending with positive and negative sentiments, his profile is important for the readers.

According to the military, Yahaya was born on January 5, 1966, in Sifawa, Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto State. He is a member of the 37 Regular Course of the  Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA). He started his cadet training on September 27, 1985, and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps on 22 September, 1990.

He has held several appointments, including: staff, Instructional and Command. Notable among the appointments held by the new COAS are: garrison commander in charge of Headquarters Guards Brigade; directing staff at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC); deputy director of 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 minister of defence; the commander, Headquarters 4 Brigade, and 29 Task Force Brigade (Operation Zaman Lafiya). He was also director of 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, Yahaya had been the theatre commander of Operation ‘Hadin Kai’ responsible for Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency operations in North-East Nigeria.

    The new COAS is 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 Defence Course (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.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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