All roads led to Sokoto, the capital city of Sokoto state in North West Nigeria on Saturday, August 12, 2023, as the cream of the society, from all works of life, made their way to the seat of the caliphate to honour an illustrious and accomplished son of Sokoto, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya rtd CFR, Zaruman Sokoto, Dike Ogu of Imo.
Gen. Yahaya retired from active military service on June 23, 2023, when he formally handed over the mantle of leadership and command of the Nigerian Army to the incumbent Chief of Army Staff, having meritoriously and unblemishly served in the Nigerian Army for about 37 years.
A periscopic look into his personality reveals a man imbued with fortitude, diligence, dedication, and love for the fatherland, spiced with his amiableness, making him perpetually put service interest above personal interest. These rare traits paved the way for his attainment of the zenith of his lofty and eventful career in the Nigerian Army and the Armed Forces of Nigeria as the 22nd COAS.
The impressive turnout of all and sundry, the low and the mighty, the sight of young men on horses’ and camels’ backs adorned in green white and green attire, the motor bikers, the tricycle riders, and pedestrians, all trooped out to cheer the illustrious son of Sifawa Bodinga LGA of Sokoto state with a very warm grand reception at the Sokoto state Sports Complex, where he was honoured with a colourful parade staged by pupils from various schools in Sokoto, Cultural troupes performance, Durbar display and streams of glowing tributes.
The Chairman of the Grand reception, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, who spoke glowingly about the celebrant, lauded him as an outstanding Sokoto son, who made enormous commitment in service through the Nigerian Army to fatherland and humanity.
In a statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Governor of Sokoto State, Dr. Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto, described him as a tested and reliable personage, whose services will be craved by all while the Chief of Defence Staff General Christopher Musa gave his impression of him, as a professional and military leader extraordinaire.
Speaking about his predecessor, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja painted the picture of a mentor and a leader, whose lofty and eventful military career, left indelible legacies from the beginning of his military career to its glorious end.
In his views, His Eminence, Alhaji (Dr) Saad Abubakar III CFR, Sultan of Sokoto described him as a renowned General, who has proven his mettle in battle, administration, and service to his people and nation. No wonder he was turbaned today Sunday, August 13, 2023, by the Sultan, as the Zaruman Sokoto. Zaruman Sokoto is a traditional title bestowed on a warrior, who has distinguished himself in the field of battle. He is also regarded strategically, as one of the king-makers.
At home, the highly revered General is a firm but kind and caring dad to his children, a loving husband to his darling wife, Mrs. Salamatu Faruk Yahaya; another, quintessential personality, whose tenure as the President Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association was characterized by execution of myriads of life-changing empowerment projects and several philanthropic activities.
Aggregation of all these exceptional qualities and many more, makes the Zaruman Sokoto stand out and tall amongst his peers and contemporaries.
The warm grand reception, cheering communal embrace, and sheer love by the good people of Sokoto will continue to be savored not only by General Faruk Yahaya rtd, his family, friends, and relations but also by all those who graced the auspicious event. The Nigerian Army remains particularly honoured by this act of recognition and celebration of one of its own by the good people of Sokoto.