By EricJames Ochigbo
New Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya on Tuesday said he has spent 36 years in the Army and has not retired.
In the civil service, once an officer is 35 years, he is due for retirement, but the COAS said he has spent 36 years in service.
Yahaya said this when he appeared before the joint House of Representatives Committees on Defence and Army for screening in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said he hope to bring his 36 years experience in the army to bear and work with other chiefs and all stakeholders to address security challenges in the country.
“From my experience, this job cannot be done by a single service or entity, the army itself is a group work not individual and that is why we are arranged in sections, companies, battalions and brigades.
“Captured in the vision of the last COAS and in my vision too is the mention of a joint environment in what we do, haven realised that this job is not a one service job.
“It also requires other agencies and stakeholders and as we speak, the former chief have already gathered these as a cornerstone for the achievement of his mandate, you see the composition of the Army, Navy and Air force and including the Police, DSS and Civil Defence and all other stakeholders.
“As we know, internal security is intelligence driven operation and so we need others including communities, opinion leaders, traditional rulers and all others who can provide information.
“Because the enemy hides within us, so it is they who should provide information, we should support this and work together,’’ he said.
Yahaya said that he had all it took to do the job to address security challenges in the country, given his wealth of experience.
He said he had served in all geo political zones of the country and had fought in various wars abroad with the U.N and ECOMOG in Liberia.
“What I will bring is my experience and commitment; I am committed and determined to provide my best, haven known what is required to achieve result,’’ he said.
He promised to work with members of the National Assembly and to leverage on their offices to get information from the grassroots to address security challenges in the country.
Earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Rep. Benson Babajimi (APC-Lagos) said the country was bedeviled by security challengevand secessionist agitations.
He said the worst was the lingering insurgency in the North East that had claimed so many lives and property and had cost the country a lot financially.
“This must stop, the Armed forces of Nigeria must adopt innovative measures to curb the killings and wanton destruction of property as a result of these cases of insecurity.
“It is, therefore, my hope that the new COAS if confirmed will do everything possible, working with other service chiefs to bring this to an end.
“You will agree with me that Nigeria needs a reinvigorated 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,’’ he said. (NAN)