Nigeria’s Major General Farouk Yahaya on a visit to the main base in Maiduguri, Borno state Hadin Kai — formerly known as Lafiya Dole.
The main site via which the military conducts its operation against Islamist extremist group Boko Haram in the northeast of the country.
Newly appointed on May 27 by President Muhammadu Buhari — a position yet to be officially confirmed by the national assembly, the general takes over from Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Major General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff,” defense spokesman Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement.
In April 2020, Yahaya was named theatre commander of Operation Hadin Kai.
His predecessor died along with ten other officers in a plane crash on May 21.
It was the third air disaster this year for the military.
The aircraft went down “due to inclement weather,” the armed forces said when trying to land at Kaduna’s international airport.
This is an eventful time to be assuming this position as Boko Haram has just confirmed the death of leader Abubakar Shekau — reportedly from a clash with rival Islamic State in West Africa-allied faction ISWAP.
Analysts say his loss would be a huge blow to his faction and potentially allow ISWAP to consolidate territorial control in Nigeria’s northeast.
Bakura Modu, known as Sahaba, is the presumed new leader of the Islamist group.
As new military head, General Farouk Yahaya will now — in addition to the decade-long insurgency in Nigeria, also have to have to contend with the rampant kidnappings in the country’s northwest.