In a formal ceremony held today, Major General Taoreed Lagbaja has taken over as the 23rd Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Nigerian Army, succeeding Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya. Maj. Gen. Lagbaja expressed his commitment to carrying out his duties with fairness and ensuring the continued progress of the Nigerian Army.
During his address, Maj. Gen. Lagbaja attributed his appointment to divine intervention, considering it a fulfillment of every combatant army officer’s aspiration. He commended Lt. Gen. Yahaya for his mentorship and the significant achievements made under his leadership, including the remarkable transformation of the Nigerian Army over the past 25 months. This transformation involved procuring state-of-the-art equipment and effectively managing resources, which have already started yielding positive outcomes for Nigeria.
The new COAS also highlighted the unprecedented surrender of repentant insurgents in the North East, attributing this success to the leadership style and strategies implemented by Lt. Gen. Yahaya. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve and pledged to build upon the existing legacies of professionalism and proficiency within the Nigerian Army. Maj. Gen. Lagbaja emphasized that hard work would be duly rewarded under his watch, and measures would be taken to address any deviations from the expected standards.
In his farewell speech, Lt. Gen. Yahaya stated that he was leaving the Nigerian Army in a better state than when he assumed office. He noted that the army had achieved significant victories against insecurity, causing disarray among adversaries across all operational theaters. Lt. Gen. Yahaya urged the officers and soldiers to maintain the highest levels of professionalism, adhering to the established ethics, customs, and traditions of the Nigerian Army. He also encouraged them to continue striving for excellence, particularly in light of the new administration’s focus on national security.
As Major General Taoreed Lagbaja assumes command, the Nigerian Army looks forward to his leadership and the further strengthening of its capabilities to tackle the challenges of insecurity in the country. The expectations are high as he aims to maintain a proficient and professional force while ensuring fairness and merit in the discharge of his responsibilities.
“Currently we are witnessing more than ever before massive surrender by repentant insurgents in the North East in a manner that beats the expectation of any observer locally and internationally.
“There is no doubt that the experience and exposure garnered under you will help in the discharge of my duties as the chief of army staff, as you transit into retirement on this glorious day.
“I wish to assure you that I shall do everything within my power to improve on your legacy of a proficient, effective and admirable Nigerian Army,” he said.
Lagbaja also promised to improve on the legacies of his predecessors of a proficient and professional Nigeria army, adding that hard work would be rewarded under his watch.
“I promise that I shall discharge my responsibilities as COAS with fairness; merit and hard work shall be duly rewarded while appropriate measures taken to bring back in line anyone that errs,” he added.
Earlier, the former chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Yahaya said he was leaving the Nigerian Army better than he met it, adding that the army made remarkable successes in the fight against insecurity.
He said that the adversaries are currently in disarray across all theatres of operations, and charged officers and men to maintain the tempo.
“You must always conduct yourselves professionally in accordance with the ethics, customs and traditions,” he added.
Yahaya said, “You must continue to make deliberate efforts to improve your performance for heightened security, especially at this time of a new administration in our growing democracy.