What Gen. Faruq Yahaya is Doing
The emergence of Lt. Gen. Faruq Yahaya, a consummate, fearless, humble, and charismatic senior military officer, as the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, in June last year, was providential. And that is to put it more succinctly.
One can make bold to say that without the tragic demise of Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, the immediate-past COAS, in an air mishap at the Kaduna International Airport, Yahaya may possibly never get the opportunity to pilot the affairs of the Nigerian Army.
A year and over six months in the saddle, he has diligently and exceptionally changed the narrative of the army. The Gen. Yahaya-led Nigerian Army is one that is totally rejuvenated, with the morale of troops being at its ultimate crescendo.
Gen. Yahaya came to his job at the Army Headquarters prepared to address the lingering Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, terrorism, after a brilliant stint at the Theatre Command in Maiduguri, where he was the Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, before becoming the country’s 22nd COAS.
Immediately after assuming office, it would be recalled that the COAS rolled out his VISION for the Nigerian Army, which is to have: “A Professional Nigerian Army Ready to Accomplish Assigned Missions Within A Joint Environment in Defence of Nigeria”.
Addressing senior Army Officers in Abuja, a few days after being appointed as the Army Chief, Gen. Yahaya promised that the Army under his watch will defeat terrorism with modern processes, strategies and tactics.
Yahaya said his command philosophy will rest on four pillars, which are namely Professionalism, Readiness, Administration, and Cooperation.
The COAS pledged to provide exemplary leadership to the Nigerian Army and serve as a rallying point for officers and soldiers while widely consulting with critical stakeholders.
His words: “Nigerian Army of the present must by necessity with the changing nature of the current situation, sit up and develop modern processes, strategy and tactics over our enemy in kinetic and non-kinetic battles, win hearts and minds and safeguard our territory.
“This requires deliberate investment in capacity building, equipment, infrastructure, human capacity, battle orientation and combat efficiency.”
As a compassionate leader, Lt. Gen. Yahaya began his job as COAS with a visit to wounded soldiers when he made his maiden trip to the Theatre Headquarters of Operation Hadin Kai, from 16 to 19 of June 2021, to assess the operational and welfare state of the troops.
During his visit to the hospitals, he assured troops of adequate medicare and support in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations.
The COAS gave the assurances when he visited the 7 Division Hospital and University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) to commiserate with the sick and wounded in action troops recuperating at the medical facilities.
While at the hospital, the COAS took time to interact with the soldiers and assured them of proper medical care and welfare, adding that their medical care is of utmost importance to him.
Under Gen. Yahaya, troops of the Nigerian Army, with renewed vigour, fighting spirit, and uncommon patriotism, have been deeply engaged in various operations, not only in the North East Theatre Command but across the country.
Just last month, Faruk Yahaya flagged off three Nigerian Army Field Training Exercises in Emene, Enugu state, to support civil authorities in tackling diverse security challenges bedevilling the country,
The flag off symbolically activated the exercises in four geopolitical zones of the country.
In his remark during the ceremony, Lt. Gen. Yahaya identified the exercises as Exercise Still Water, Enduring Peace and Exercise Golden Dawn, which he pointed out, will be conducted simultaneously in South-South, South East, South West and North Central Nigeria respectively.
These exercises, he added would seek to confront the multifaceted and contemporary security challenges prevalent in different parts of the country. He noted that the exercises aim to restore law and order in the affected regions, as well as create an enabling environment for socio-economic activities to thrive.
The COAS, stated that the exercises, which would later metamorphose into real operations would witness collaboration with other security agencies in exchange for ideas and sharing of intelligence.
“The synergy amongst the services and agencies will provide the opportunity for them to bring their special competencies to bear in the operations.”
Gen. Yahaya further stated that each exercise will address issues unique to their areas of responsibility.
The COAS equally expressed optimism that by the end of the exercises, the troops would have engendered a more peaceful and harmonious atmosphere for the yuletide and conduct of violent free elections.
Gen. Yahaya further charged officers and soldiers to remain professional, steadfast and diligent in the discharge of their responsibilities in consonance with the objectives of the exercises.
He urged the troops to ensure respect and protection of the Fundamental Human Rights of the populace in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as they discharge their responsibilities. He however enjoined the citizenry to be law abiding and cooperate with security agencies in order to restore law and order in the country.
Again, sometime in July this year, Gen. Yahaya, also inaugurated “Exercise Lion Heart” for the Land Forces Simulation Centre Nigeria (LFSCN) with a view to enhancing the operational efficiency of the troops.
Yahaya, who was represented by the Director of Courses, Department of Training (Army), Brig.-Gen. Ibikunle Ajose said that the simulation exercise was designed to allow the personnel to understand different scenarios of threats.
In recent times, the tempo of the counter-insurgency war, which has increased under the leadership of the COAS, has manifested in the surrender of thousands of ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists and their family members, in several parts of Borno State.
Nigerians and the country itself have already been ravaged by insecurity. Many precious lives have been killed and maimed. Insecurity has rendered the country’s economy prostate. It has also led to the destruction of many critical national infrastructures.
It is heartwarming, however, that troops of the Nigerian Army are unrelenting in tackling terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other subversive elements, holding the country to ransom. Gen. Yahaya and the entire leadership of the Nigerian Army, indeed, have shown commitment towards ending the menace of the Boko Haram-ISWAP insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, and other sundry crimes in the country.
These were what I told a friend recently when he asked me what the visionary and celebrated Lt. Gen. Faruq Yahaya is actually doing towards making the Nigerian Army a resilient and gallant military force, capable of tackling every enemy of the Nigerian State.