New Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Farouk Yahaya
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, on Thursday, tackled the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for appointing a northerner as the Chief of Army Staff yet again.
National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement said the President’s refusal to appoint a COAS from the South-Eastern zone of the country shows that he does not believe in the unity of the country.
UGAMATV had earlier reported that Buhari on Thursday appointed Major General Farouk Yahaya as the new Chief of Army Staff following the tragic death of the former COAS, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, in a plane crash last Friday.
Both Attahiru and his successor are from Northern Nigeria. Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, had criticised the President for appointing four service chiefs and an acting Inspector General of Police earlier in the year as none of the five appointees was of Igbo extraction.
Ohanaeze had said the injustice of the Federal Government under the leadership of Buhari was responsible for the growing agitations and insecurity in the South-East.
Reacting to the latest appointment of a new COAS, HURIWA in a statement titled, ‘New Army Chief: We Are No Longer Shocked By Buhari’s Primitive Nepotism’, knocked the President for not distributing his appointments across all the socio-ethnic interests in the country.
The statement partly read, “The shameless, nepotistic decision of President Buhari to continue in the illegal and unconstitutional abuses of appointing only Hausa/Fulani citizens into juicy Internal Security positions in breach of the Nigerian Constitutional provision of Federal Character is despicable, reprehensible and totally toxic.”
The group accused Buhari of violating his constitutional oath of office by his aversion to respect the Federal Character principle.
“Buhari’s refusal to appoint an officer from the South-East of Nigeria as the Army Chief of Staff even when he is the most senior of the Major Generals further solidify his notoriety as someone who does not believe in one Nigeria,” HURIWA stated.