Yahaya was recently chosen by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace former COAS, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, who died in a plane crash in Kaduna.
In his statement, Benson, who spoke on behalf of the committees, also charged Yahaya with creating a virulent army that would be results-oriented.
“This exercise comes at a very tough period in the history of our dear country, Nigeria,” he remarked, assuring the army of the House of Representatives’ continuing support.
“Our nation has been besieged by several security issues across all the geo-political zones with banditry, militancy and self-secessionists stretching our military to the extreme.
“The worst is the lingering insurgency in the North-East. This war has cost the country a lot both financially and in terms of human lives. This must stop.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria needs to adopt innovative measures to curb the killings and wanton destruction of property as a result of these cases of insecurity. I therefore, hope that, if confirmed, the new Chief of Army Staff will do everything possible, working with other service chiefs, to bring this to an end.
“You will agree with me that Nigeria deserves a re-invigorated Armed Forces that is robust, well-trained, adequately equipped, efficient and fully motivated to protect Nigerians from the devastating effects of terrorism and other security challenges in the country.
“This screening exercise comes at the heels of Nigeria’s twenty-two years of uninterrupted democratic experience. I must say that the relationship between the National Assembly and Armed Forces of Nigeria has progressively improved as the parliament continues to exercise the necessary democratic oversight of the defence sector.
“Let me reiterate the firm resolve of the 9th House of Representatives, ably led by the Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and particularly, the Committees on Defence and that of Army’s pledge to continually ensure a secure, peaceful and prosperous country for all Nigerians. We will therefore continue to work with the Armed Forces of Nigeria to achieve this.
“Let me assure you that the Joint Committees on Defence and Army will be thorough, transparent and sincere in the conduct of this screening.
“We owe this to Nigerians as their representatives. Consequently, we seek your cooperation as we embark on this constitutional legislative process”.
In his remarks, the Minister of Defence, Bashiru Magashi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, expressed optimism that the House would find the army chief worthy of confirmation.
Asked to introduce himself and defend his appointment, Yahaya, who chronicled his military exploits since his sojourn in the Nigeria Army 36 years ago, said he was fit for the job and will deliver.
He said: “I joined the Navy 36 years ago. So, I brought along with me 36 years of military experience. I’m abreast with the security requirements of Abuja, and so on.
“I was involved in several security operations. The challenges we are facing now, all are characterized by these areas I mentioned where I have first hand information and have commanded troops and I administered them in achieving what we’ve done.
“I believe I have the requisite requirements by the grace of God to now provide my services in this office of the chief of Army Staff if confirmed. What I brought is wealth of experience and commitment. So, I’m committed and determined to provide my best and also having known what’s required to achieve results.
“Security is everybody business. The job cannot be done by one person. So we need all the support. And with the support of the people will win our fight against insecurity.”
Responding to a question on lack of synergy among the hierarchy of army, navy, air force and other security agencies in the theatre of war posed by the chairman Committee, Namdas, Yahaya said there was perfect understanding, interaction and cooperation within them.
Namdas had attributed their inability to win the war in north east to the lack of cooperation amongst the various security institutions.
But the army chief said he enjoyed a robust relationship with the other service chiefs who he said were well known to him even at the academy.
He, however, called for the cooperation of all Nigerians at various levels to enable him succeed.
“From experience, this job can not be done by any single service or entity. Indeed, in the Army, the Army itself is a group work not individual that’s why we arranged in sections and companies and battalions and brigades.
“This job is collective and as it was captured in the vision of the late Chief of Army Staff and in my own Mission too, there was also mentioned of joint environment in what we do, having realized that this job is not one service job.
“Not only that, it also requires other agencies, services and stakeholders. We have always operated together that is why you see composition, Army, Navy, Airforce are there and now including the Police, DSS, Civil Defense.
“At the Army headquarters level, all the Service Chiefs now, we are all mates at the Academy. At one time or the other all of us work together. So, the synergy can’t be anything better now that we’re brought up together, we have trained together.
“As we know, internal security is intelligence driven operation. So, we need others including communities, including traditional rulers and all others who can provide information. We work together,” Yahaya said.