By: Okosun Dennis
The appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari on Thursday became necessary following the unfortunate death of the former COAS, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru in the Nigerian Airforce plane crash last week in Kaduna.
Major General Faruk Yahaya, before his appointment, was the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division of the Nigerian Army and the incumbent Theatre Commander of the Counter Terrorism Counter Insurgency military outfit in the North East, code named Operation HADIN KAI.
The new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya was born on 5 January 1966 in Sifawa, Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto State. Maj Gen Yahaya who is a member of the 37 Regular Course of the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), started his cadet training on 27 September 1985 and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps on 22 September 1990.
Maj Gen Yahaya has held several appointments including Staff, Instructional and Command.
Notable among the appointments held by the new COAS are Garrison Commander Headquarters Guards Brigade, Directing Staff at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Deputy Director 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 the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Commander, Headquarters 4 Brigade and 29 Task Force Brigade (Operation Zaman Lafiya). He was also Director 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 on Thursday, Maj Gen Faruk Yahaya was the Theatre Commander Operation HADIN KAI, responsible for Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations in North East Nigeria.
The new COAS is a proud 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 DefenceCourse (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.