General Yahaya debunks ‘bad blood’ among service chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Major General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, on Tuesday denied reports that the service chiefs are failing to achieve their task of curbing the worsening insecurity in the country, due to lack of synergy among them.

This is as the House of Representatives tasked the COAS to bring an end to insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality in the country.

Yahaya, who spoke while fielding questions from members of the House Committees on Defence and Army at his screening, said there’s synergy among the service chiefs.

President Muhammadu Buhari recently appointed Yahaya to replace former COAS, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a plane crash in Kaduna.

The president consequently wrote to both chambers of the National Assembly urging them to confirm Yahaya’s appointment.

Addressing the lawmakers, Yahaya said the job of securing the country is not a one man’s job and the service chiefs have always operated together, hence the composition of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, DSS and Civil Defence.

He said: ”As we know, internal security is an intelligent-driven operation. So we need others, including communities, including traditional rulers and all others who can provide information. We work together. At the Army headquarters level, all the service chiefs now we are all mates at the Academy. At one time or the other, all of us work together. So the synergy can’t be anything better now that we’re brought up together, we have trained together.”

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Speaking on his plans to curb the worsening insecurity, the COAS said he will use his wealth of experience in the field over the years to achieve desired results.

According to him, ”I joined the Navy 36 years ago, so I brought along with me 36 years of military experience. I’m abreast with the security requirements. I was involved in several security operations. The challenges we are facing now, all are characterized by these areas I mentioned, where I have first hand information and have commanded troops and I administered them in achieving what we’ve done.

“I believe I have the requisite requirements by the grace of God to now provide my services in this office of the Chief of Army Staff if confirmed. What I brought is wealth of experience and commitment. So I’m committed and determined to provide my best and also having known what’s required to achieve results.”

He also appealed to all citizens for their support, adding that with their support, the fight against insecurity will be won.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Hon. Babajimi Benson, said the insecurity currently bedevilling the country has cost it a lot both financially and in terms of human lives, tasking the COAS to bring it to an end.

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Benson said: ”This exercise comes at a very challenging time in the history of our dear country, Nigeria. Our nation has been besieged by several security issues across all the geo-political zones with banditry, militancy and self-secessionists stretching our military to the extreme.

“The worst is the lingering insurgency in the North-east. This war has cost the country a lot both financially and in terms of human lives. This must stop. The Armed Forces of Nigeria need to adopt innovative measures to curb the killings and wanton destruction of property as a result of these cases of insecurity.

“I therefore hope that if confirmed, the new Chief of Army Staff will do everything possible, working with other service chiefs, to bring this to an end. You will agree with me that Nigeria deserves a re-invigorated Armed Forces that is robust, well-trained, adequately equipped, efficient and fully motivated to protect Nigerians from the devastating effects of terrorism and other security challenges in the country.”

The lawmaker assured the COAS that the House will continue to work with the Armed Forces of Nigeria to achieve a secure, peaceful and prosperous country for all.

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