From Olola Seun Akioye
For the first time, at least publicly, Principal Officers and Field Commanders of the Nigerian Army gathered at the Army Headquarters today in Abuja to meet with their new Chief, Major General Faruk Yahaya.
The ranks of the officers ranged from Brigadier to Major General, some of them were mates to the new Chief while some were senior in service year.
Fortune had smiled on the new COAS since he assumed office on Friday. The Troops of Operation Hadin Kai which replaced Operation Lafiya Dole in the north east has had some successes.
First, it repelled an attack on Rann, killing 10 Boko Haram fighters and destroying their gun trucks as Yahaya was assuming office. Then upon credible intelligence, soldiers raided a community in Yobe and allegedly nabbed two men who ” supply Boko Haram with fuel.”
The COAS wasted no time in telling his officers of his mission and vision which is to win all land battles against insecurity in conjunction with other sister Services.
He promised to command the NA to win all land battles in defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria, protect her national interests and accomplish assigned tasks in aid of civil authority among other responsibilities.
His mission statement was even more telling of how he will run the Army and it indicated that he intended to follow in the agreement of the three services to allow the Defence Headquarters to lead the military, a sharp departure from the last era whereby the Defence Headquarters was relegated to mere ceremonial duties.
According to Yahaya, his mission for the Nigerian Army is: “A PROFESSIONAL NIGERIAN ARMY READY TO ACCOMPLISH ASSIGNED MISSIONS WITHIN A JOINT ENVIRONMENT IN DEFENCE OF NIGERIA.”
In the next weeks and months, a lot of moving around and reshuffle will happen in the Army, this is to ensure the right people are in the right places to help the COAS fulfil his vision for the Army.
Yahaya paid tribute to the departed COAS Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru describing him in celestial adjectives. He was the big brother, mentor, guardian and a brilliant Officer who showed exemplary leadership in his brief stay in office.
The COAS also promised his unalloyed loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari while assuring all officers and men of exemplary and professional leadership that would serve as a rallying point for all.
“The NA under my command will discharge its duties with diligence, commitment and loyalty to the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari’’ he boasted.