After the death of former Chief of Army Staff Ibrahim Attahiru, the southeast expected President Muhammdu Buhari to appoint a general of Igbo origin.
They were disappointed.
Now Buhari has explained why he appointed Major-General Farouk Yahaya to replace the fallen general.
According to the president, he couldn’t just appoint anyone because he wanted to balance up.
“These positions have to be earned,” he said in an interview on Arise TV on Thursday, Buhari said Yahaya was appointed ahead of his superiors because of his experience fighting Boko Haram in the North-east.
Moreover, Yahaya had the support and understanding of the Nigerian troops.
“People who have been there for 18 years or even for 10 years, they trained in Zaria or in Abeokuta, they come through the ranks.
“And because they served under all the circumstances, the crises and everything and they gradually rise to that status and you think you just pick somebody just to balance up? These positions have to be earned,” he added.
Until his appointment, Yayaha was the Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, the counter-insurgency operation in the North-east.