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Sword alone won’t end security challenges, says new army spokesman

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Maj.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya


• COAS has not served for 36 years, military clarifies
New army spokesman, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, has declared that deploying “the sword or gun cannot alone provide a panacea to the complex and multifaceted security challenges that characterise today’s world.”

The new spokesman appointed by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Faruk Yahaya, has fully taken charge in Abuja. Nwachukwu lauded Yahaya for the honour and privilege to be appointed as the spokesman of the Nigerian Army (NA).

“I wish to most respectfully thank the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, for his immense support and encouragement during my tour of duty as the immediate past Acting Director Defence Information of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

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“I have no doubt, in my mind of the responsibilities of my office as the Director Army Public Relations, which is summarily to project the activities of the army with the objective of galvanising public goodwill and support for the NA, as it strives assiduously to surmount contemporary security challenges bedeviling our nation.”

Nwachukwu affirmed: “It is an indisputable and very well established fact that the sword or gun cannot alone provide a panacea to the complex and multifaceted security challenges that characterise today’s world. I must therefore make haste to say that the complex nature of these security challenges requires multi-disciplinary approach and a conglomerate of stakeholders of which the media is a very vital one.”

He added: “In decisively overcoming these challenges, the army and the media must be partners in progress to surmount these security threats in order to berth the peace and tranquility we all earnestly desire as a people and nation.”

Earlier, the Nigerian army high command cleared the air over controversial reports saying Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. General Faruk Yahaya has served for 36 years instead of the statutory 35 allowed in the Federal Civil Service Rules.

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It said army headquarters’ attention was drawn to a publication by an online news medium (not The Guardian Online) where it was reported that Yahaya has served the military for 36 years.

It said: “It is worthy of mention that the COAS, while appearing for confirmation, did mention to the distinguished senators that ‘what I 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)’. He went further to state, ‘Since that time when I passed out September 22nd, 1990…’

“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 Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service (Officers) 2017 Revised.

“In the case of the 22nd COAS, as he stated clearly, he was commissioned on 22nd September, 1990 which is a reference point for his service years. This therefore means the message being circulated is completely inaccurate and out of context.”

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Faruk YahayaLucky Irabor
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