Not 36 years: Army clarifies COAS Yahaya's service record

Faruk Yahaya

Major General Faruk Yahaya, Chief of army staff

Major General Faruk Yahaya, Chief of army staff
Major General Faruk Yahaya, Chief of army staff

By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Nigerian Army has clarified that the new Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya has not spent 36 years in service as widely reported.

It said the COAS service record started on Sept. 22, 1990 when he was commissioned as an officer.

The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, made the clarification in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Yerima said that the COAS, during his confirmation screening at the National Assembly, mentioned that he was bringing his 36 years of military experience to bear.

According to him, Yahaya told the Senators that what he brought along “in this highly tasking office is about 36 years of military experience, having joined the Army on 27 September 1985 as a member of 37 Regular Course (Degree)”.

Yerima noted that the COAS passed out on September 22nd, 1990, which is the effective date of joining the military.

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He said, for the records, the COAS had accurately captured his military experience to include the five years he spent in training as Officer Cadet in the Nigerian Defence Academy.

“The record of service of an officer however counts from the day he is commissioned.

“This is clearly stated in the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service (Officers) 2017 Revised,” he said.

“In the case of the 22nd COAS as he stated clearly, he was commissioned on 22nd September 1990 which is reference point for his service years.

“This, therefore, means the message being circulated is completely inaccurate and out of context,” he said.

The Army spokesperson, however, urged the public to disregard claims that tended to portray that the COAS had spent 36 years in service.

According to him, the claims emanated from lack of knowledge of the military service or out of mischief which can best be explained by their authors.