Nigeria: Senate Endorses Yahaya As Chief of Army Staff

23 June 2021

The Senate yesterday confirmed the appointment of Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff.

His confirmation was sequel to the consideration of a report by the Joint Committees of Defence and Army that screened the army chief penultimate week.

Presenting the joint committee's report, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, said the committee was satisfied with the comprehensive and robust engagement and interactions with the nominee during the screening.

He said Yahaya's nomination was in line with section 217 (2) (a)(b)(c) of the 1999 Constitution as altered, 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 stated that the committee did not receive any petition against the nominee, adding that he was cleared by the Department of State Services (DSS).

According to him, during the screening committee, "The nominee's knowledge of the strategic capabilities of the army was exhaustive and impressive.

"He showed a clear knowledge of the army which is 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."

According to it, 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.

It added that Yahaya underscored the need to ensure peace in the forthcoming elections, and to deal with non-kinetic issues such as the settlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Boko Haram's insurgency.

Giving insight into the dynamics of the challenges of the North-east, Wamakko said Yahaya told the committee that under his command in January, Nigerian troops advanced into enclaves of Shekau-led position in Alagarno forest-Timbuktu triangle axis.

Wamakko stated that the committee, during an interaction with the nominee, recognised the current security challenges confronting the nation, adding that the committee urged the COAS and the military to ensure that peace is maintained and returned to all parts of the country.

Also, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, 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.

"And, therefore, 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 to start some of the jobs he cannot do now because he is still in an acting capacity."

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, commended the Joint Committee of Defence and Army for a thorough job done and advocated 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. 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."

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