Recall that President Buhari had appointed Farouk Yahaya as the new army boss on Thursday, as confirmed in a statement by the Defence HQ, to replace late Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a place crash in Kaduna last Friday, alongside 10 other military officers.
Yahaya Farouk is a Regular Course 37 officer and in the military tradition, his appointment wipes out Course 35, 36 intakes. Vanguard reported that a source said it is the tradition in the military for senior officers to take a bow whenever a junior officer is appointed a COAS, as they cannot be saluting their junior officer. With the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, being a Regular Course 34 intake, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao both being Regular Course 35 intakes, Major General Yahaya becomes the most junior service chief as Course 37. The implication is that about 20 Major-Generals and Brigadier-Generals made up of five remaining Regular Course 35 intakes and 15 Regular Course 36 intakes would have to give way (proceed on retirement).
The media further reported that the appointment of Yahaya as Attahiru’s successor, according to sources, was delayed due to search for a competent officer, adding that a lot of the Generals in Regular Courses 35 and 36 were found to be from the same tribe or state with other security chiefs in the Ministry of Defence, National Security Adviser’s office, the Navy and the Air Force. “For instance, one of them, Major-General Jamil Sarham, of Regular Course 36, former Commandant Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, is from Kano, where the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd), and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, hail from”, the media reported.
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“Sources said the appointment of General Lucky Irabor as Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, from Delta State, took care of South-East and South-South slot, the reason the Chief of Policy and Plans, Major-General Benjamin Ahanotu of Regular Course 35 from Anambra State was not considered for the position of COAS. Army Chief of Operations, Major General Ibrahim Manu Yusuf, from Yobe State, was also not considered because he is from the same state as Acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, according to sources”, the media reported further.Photos Credit: Getty