By Sumaila Ogbaje
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff, COAS.
The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, announced this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
Prior to his appointment, Yahaya was the General Officer Commanding 1 Division of the Nigerian Army and the Theatre Commander of a military counter-terrorism unit in the North East.
The new COAS was born on Jan. 5, 1966 in Sifawa, Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto state and a member of the 37 Regular Course of the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).
He started his cadet training on Sept. 27, 1985 and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps on Sept. 22, 1990.
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.
He was also a Deputy Director Army Research and Development and the Chief of Staff, Headquarters Joint Task Force Operation Pulo Shield, Principal General Staff Officer (PGSO) to the Honourable Minister of Defence, the Commander, Headquarters 4 Brigade and 29 Task Force Brigade (Operation Zaman Lafiya).
Yahaya was also a Director Manpower at the Army Headquarters, Military Secretary, Army Headquarters and General Officer Commanding (GOC) Headquarters 1 Division of the Nigerian Army.
Until his appointment as the COAS, he was the Theatre Commander Operation HADIN KAI responsible for Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency operations in North East Nigeria.
He is also a 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), and National Defence Course (Chile)/
Others are the 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.(NAN)