The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday 27th May, 2021 appointed the Theatre Commander of Operation LAFIYA DOLE (later renamed Operation HADIN KAI), Major General Faruk Yahaya as the 22nd Chief of Army Staff of the Nigerian Army.
Here are 10 things to know about the new Nigerian Army helmsman:
- Major General Faruk Yahaya graduated as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Class of 1990 (37 Regular Course) and was among the top 3 cadets in the Order of Merit.
- He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Masters Degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy.
- He has been an instructor, an administrator and a fighting combatant in the Army.
- He has been a Brigade Commander in 2 different Brigades in the Nigerian Army.
- He was a Principal General Staff Officer (PGSO) to a one time Minister of Defence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- The new COAS attended the Chile Defence College for his strategic-level course and speaks Spanish fluently.
- Major General Faruk Yahaya was the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army. During his time, the troops were able to neutralised many bandits and made the troubled Birnin Gwari areas safe for human and vehicular activities.
- The new COAS has faced many life-threatening situations. As the Theatre Commander that leads from the frontline, first, in 2020, he went on familiarization tour to Monguno and then proceeding to Baga, enroute Baga, Monguno was attacked by the Boko Haram terrorists, he ordered his convoy to return back to Monguno. Moving cross country to avoid the road and returned to Monguno. He personally joined the battle and ensured the Boko Haram terrorists were defeated and again in January 2021 his convoy was ambushed near Auno in Borno State but the ambushed was destroyed.
- He initiated a joint operations in the Sambisa forest area in early 2021 with the Cameroon Defence Forces as part of the Multi-National Joint Task Force.
- He was working in his office when he was announced as the 22nd COAS, soldiers started jubilating and he came out to address them.