By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (Rtd), on Monday presented the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Farouk Yahaya, to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Yahaya was appointed eleven days ago following the death of the late COAS, Lt General Ibrahim Attahiru, in an air crash in Kaduna.
The Minister who fielded questions from State House correspondents after the meeting disclosed that President Buhari reminded the new army chief of the imperative of synergy among the security agencies in order to effectively tackle the precarious security situation in the country.
Asked what the President told the new army chief at the brief meeting, Magashi said: “He told him that there’s a lot of pressure on security and being an actor, at one point or the other, he has given us a direction in which we can learn from his experiences and apply them to our modern operations and I think we have taken the advice seriously. The issue of synergy among the security forces was also stressed and I’m sure there will be a lot of changes as regards the security operations in this country.”
He said the President received them warmly at the meeting and offered some advice on how they can go about doing their operations as well as the entire security of the country, adding that “We assured him that we will do our best to bring an end to the problem of insecurity in this country.”
The Minister would not say what assurances General Yahaya gave to the President on the delivery of his assignment. He said time was not ripe for that level of discussion in the public domain.
He, however, noted that the new army chief assured that he would bring his experience to bear on his current assignment as well as engage in active collaboration.with the other military chiefs in order to do the country proud.
“The President is really having confidence in the new set of people that he has appointed. We wish them the best of luck,” he added.
On what his ministry is doing to contain the disturbing insecurity in the Northwestern part of the country, Magashi said the situation in the Northwest is more of the responsibility of the police rather than the military, even though the military are giving the much assistance they could give
‘In the Northwestern part of the country, you know that the more concern we have is banditry, kidnapping, and other criminalities. We are taking the challenge, but you know, really, this is the constitutional responsibility of the police, we are only an aid to the police and we are giving maximum cooperation to the police in order to see an end to this banditry and insecurity in the Northwest, otherwise I think it’s quite different from the Northeast.
“In the Northeast, it’s Boko Haram issue and we’re up and doing to ensure that we bring an end to this Boko Haram issue, especially with this development of ISWAP,” he said.