The Minister of Defence, Major General Salihi Magashi, has said that contrary to public opinion, the appointment of Major General Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff, President was based on national interest and not on ethnic and religious sentiments.
President Buhari on Thursday, May 28, announced the appointment of Yahaya as the new Army chief to take over from Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a plane crash on Friday May 21.
Yahaya is from Zamfara State and a member of the 35 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mohammad Abdulkadri, described the new Army Chief as “an organic infantry General who is tested and trusted to actualise the national aspirations to restore peace in the dark spots areas of insurgency, kidnapping and banditry as well as other allied threats to the nation’s corporate existence.”
According to the statement,
“The Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) has commended the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for the well thought out Strategic appointment of Major General Farouk Yahaya, the 22nd Chief of Army Staff as a replacement for the late Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a plane crash alongside ten others last Friday in Kaduna.
The appointment of General Yahaya, President Buhari has expediently put national interest above ethnic and religious chauvinism by fulfilling all requirements necessary.
These include his unblemished track records of service, Professional, Command and Operational competences among other yardsticks that culminated into his emergence as most suitably qualified new Army boss.
The Defence Minister expressed optimism in the professional pedigree of the former theatre Commander Operation “Hadin Kai”, General Yahaya, in sustaining the trajectory of taking offensive and aggressive campaigns to the camps, corridors and cells of the adversaries with a view to obliterating them.
While pledging the support of the Ministry of Defence under his watch to the new Army boss in carrying out his mandate, the minister said plans are in the pipeline by the Federal Government to immortalise late General Attahiru and others who died in the plane crash.