- President Muhammadu Buhari has spoken about the qualities he saw in Major-General Farouk Yahaya that prompted him to appoint the officer as COAS
- Yahaya replaced Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a plane crash with ten other military personnel while on an official trip to Kaduna state
- Attahiru came into office amid the security challenges in the country ranging from kidnapping, banditry, and insurgency in the northeast
Lagos state - President Muhammadu Buhari has justified the appointment of Major-General Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
According to The Nation, the Nigerian president told Arise TV during an interview on Thursday, June 10, that one of the reasons for selecting Yahaya ahead of other superiors was because of his experience in fighting Boko Haram in the northeast.
The president stated that an additional factor was that the general had the support and understanding of the troops.
The appointment of Yahaya had created controversy and speculations that there is going to be a mass retirement of some generals in the Nigerian Army.
However, the Defence Headquarters claimed the reports were untrue.
President Buhari faults critics on appointments
Meanwhile, the Nigerian president has also dismissed the suggestion that appointments under his administration are based on ethnic grounds.
He argued that his appointments are strictly based on merit, arguing that he cannot jettison seniority and merit for balance and federal character.
Buhari explained that it would be wrong to favour those who have spent shorter years in service over those that have stayed longer.
The president highlights causes of insurgency
In another report, President Buhari has explained that Boko Haram has been largely successful in Nigeria because of youth unemployment and poverty.
The Nigerian leader said he believes his government has done a lot to fight the terrorists but the problem in the North-East is very difficult
He said the majority of the terrorists are citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Abductors of Niger Islamic students demand ransom
Meanwhile, the abductors of the over 136 students and staff of Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School, Tegina, in the Rafi local government area of Niger state are demanding the sum of N110 million as a ransom for the safe release of the victims.
Channels Television reported that the bandits also threatened to kill the victims should the school or their parents fail to meet their demands this week.
The headteacher of the school, Abubakar Alhassan disclosed this to journalists on Tuesday, June 1, adding that the bandits’ call came in about 4:00 pm on Monday, May 31.