The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Major General Faruk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff.
His confirmation followed the consideration of a report by the Joint Committee of Defence and Army.
Faruk was appointed on May 27, 2021, by President Muhammadu Buhari following the death of the former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru, in a plane crash which occurred in Kaduna on May 21, 2021.
Before his appointment, Yahaya was the General Officer Commanding Division 1 of the Nigerian Army and Theatre Commander of the Counter Terrorism, Counter Insurgency military outfit in the North East code named Operation HADIN KAI.
Chairman of the Joint Committee, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (APC, Sokoto North), in his presentation said the Committee was satisfied with the comprehensive and robust nature of the engagement and interactions with the nominee during the screening exercise.
According to the lawmaker, Faruk’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 disclosed that the Committee did not receive any petitions on the Nominee was cleared by the Department of State Security Service (DSS).
Senator Wamakko said that during the screening exercise, “the nominee’s knowledge of the strategic capabilities of the Army was exhaustive and impressive.”
“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”, he said.
The lawmaker further noted that 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.
He added that Faruk underscored the need to ensure peace in the forthcoming elections, stressing that all hands must be on deck 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 that the Chief of Army Staff disclosed to the Committee that under his command in January 2021, Nigerian troops advanced into enclaves of Shekau-led position in Alagarno forest-Timbuktu triangle axis.
Senator Wamakko observed that the Committee during an interaction with the nominee recognized the current security challenges confronting the nation.
He added that the Committee urged the COAS and military to do everything they can to ensure that peace is maintained and returned to all parts of the country.
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 start some of the jobs he cannot do now because he is still in acting capacity.”
Senator Gabriel Suswam, on his part, said given the track record of the nominee in the Nigerian Army, he is rightly equipped with the required experience to sufficiently tackle the issues of insurgency and terrorism bedeviling the country.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, while commending the Joint Committee of Defence and Army for a thorough job done, 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 a legislators, government functionaries, businessmen or simple citizens, we must give the military the kind of support that it requires.”