Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, the newly appointed Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the 23rd army chief, has assumed command of the Nigerian Army with a commitment to fairness in discharging his responsibilities. Lagbaja took over from Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, the 22nd Chief, who had been in command since May 2021.
Expressing gratitude for the opportunity to lead the Nigerian Army, Lagbaja acknowledged that assuming the mantle of leadership in the army was a cherished aspiration for every combatant officer. He commended his predecessor, Gen. Yahaya, for the remarkable transformation the Nigerian Army underwent in the past 25 months. This included significant advancements in equipment procurement and the efficient management of human and material resources, which are now yielding dividends for Nigeria.
Lagbaja expressed appreciation for Gen. Yahaya’s mentorship and the impact it had on his military career. He highlighted the positive outcomes achieved under Yahaya’s leadership, such as the increased number of repentant terrorists surrendering in the North East, surpassing expectations both locally and internationally.
The new army chief assured Gen. Yahaya of his commitment to build on his legacy of a proficient, effective, and admirable Nigerian Army. He emphasized that fairness would be a guiding principle in his leadership, promising to reward merit and hard work while taking appropriate measures to address any misconduct.
Lagbaja pledged to improve upon the legacies of his predecessors and ensure a proficient and professional Nigerian Army. He emphasized that diligent work would be acknowledged and rewarded during his tenure.
In his remarks, Lt.-Gen. Yahaya stated that he was leaving the Nigerian Army in a better state than he found it, citing significant achievements in the fight against insecurity. He noted that the adversaries were currently facing disarray across all operational areas and urged officers and soldiers to maintain their high level of professionalism, in accordance with the army’s ethics, customs, and traditions.
Yahaya called on the army personnel to continuously strive for improved performance, particularly in light of the new administration in Nigeria’s growing democracy. He urged them to support the incoming Chief of Army Staff and work towards even greater accomplishments.