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Senate confirms Maj.-Gen. Yahaya as Chief of Army


By Sanni Onogu, Abuja

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Maj.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

The confirmation followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Joint Senate Committee on Defence and Army at plenary.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Aliyu Wamakko, presented the report.

Maj.-Gen. Yahaya has been the COAS in acting capacity, following the death of the former COAS, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, in a military plane crash in Kaduna.

In his presentation, Wamakko said the committee was satisfied with the comprehensive and robust engagement and interactions with the nominee during the screening.

The senator said 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 said the committee did not receive any petition against the nominee and that he was cleared by the Department of State Services (DSS) for the job.

The Sokoto North senator recalled that in the course of the screening, “the nominee’s knowledge of the strategic capabilities of the Army was exhaustive and impressive”.

Wamakko added: “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.”

The senator also said the nominee agreed on the need for the Army to have more transparency and disclosures to the Committee on Security in the National Assembly in order to ensure a harmonious working relationship, considering that they are critical stakeholders in the nation’s security apparatus.

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He added that Yahaya displayed a good understanding of the security situation and the solutions needed to restore peace across the country.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Mohammed 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 start some of the jobs he cannot do now because he is still in acting capacity.”

Senator Gabriel Suswam noted that, given the track record of the nominee in the Nigerian Army, he was well equipped with the required experience to tackle insurgency and terrorism.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who hailed the Joint Committee of Defence and Army for a thorough job, sought 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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