The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya on Thursday assured Nigerians that the Nigerian Army will provide a conducive environment for the conduct of the 2023 general elections even as he warned that Commander’s at all levels must remain glaringly apolitical and professional in the conduct of their constitutional duties of maintaining peace and security in aid of civil authority
The COAS gave the charge at the closing of the Chief of Army Staff First Quarter Conference 2022 in Abuja just as he charged them to continue to uphold human right principles in the conduct of operations in tandem with the rules of engagement.
Addressing Principal Staff Officers, General Officers Commanding, Corp’s Commanders, Theatre/Field Commanders, Gen Yahaya said, “As we carry out our constitutional duties of maintaining peace and security in aid of civil authority across the Country, let me emphasize that we should all remain professional and glaringly apolitical.
“We should also continue to uphold human right principles in the conduct of our operations in tandem with the Constitution and our Rules of Engagement.
“This is particularly important as the activities outlined in the Independent National Electoral Commission calendar gathers steam.
“In line with our constitutional responsibilities, we will continue to provide conducive and secured environment for the conduct of the general elections through Operation Safe Conduct in aid to civil authority.
Continuing the COAS said, “It is noteworthy that the NA under my watch has marshalled out new morale boosting welfare packages to further motivate personnel and enhance productivity.
“The welfare packages which are in the final stages of consideration are designed to improve the well-being of the personnel both while in Service and life after service will continuously be reviewed and improved upon.
“Personnel and their families could take advantage of the packages which were elaborately presented during the Conference to improve their general welfare. It is my belief that the revolving nature of the welfare schemes would enable maximal benefit to the NA personnel.
“Commanders at all levels are to educate their troops on this welfare schemes with the aim of facilitating general awareness and patronage when I finally approve them for implementation.
Furthermorw, the COAS tasked all commanders to continue to educate and inculcate in the troops, the ‘core values’ of the Nigerian army which among others include, courage, integrity, selfless service and respect for others.
He said the aspect of ‘courage’ was extensively discussed during the conference as fundamental requirement in the development and maintenance of the ‘warrior ethos’ which is key to accomplishment of kinetic missions.
“The concept and content of the Warrior Ethos’ should be taken seriously in all aspects of our training. The successes recorded so far in our operations can be attributed to the renewed zeal by the troops to decisively confront all forms of security threats. This much appreciated dogged posture must be sustained as no untoward conduct or misdemeanour would be tolerated from any quarters’.
Yahaya said the successes recorded so far in all operations could be attributed to the renewed zeal by the troops to decisively confront all forms of security threats.
He urge them to sustain the dogged posture, warning that no untoward conduct or misdemeanour would be tolerated from any quarters.
The COAS also urged commanders to exercise effective control of arms and ammunition placed under their care and spare no efforts at thwarting any forms of arms spread in their domains.
He said the nefarious activities of violent criminals being confronted in the ongoing operations had direct connection with proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in unauthorised hands.
He commended troops on their efforts and sacrifices in all theatres of operations, adding that synergy with sister services and all security agencies in their joint operations should be sustained and improved.
“Additionally, I am pleased to note the increasing support extended to our troops by our host communities and Nigerians at large.
“This is very much in line with my vision to improve our general cohesiveness in joint operations.
“I therefore enjoin all Commanders to constantly leverage on our improved relations with the civil populace and our host communities and sensitize troops accordingly in that regard,” he said.
The army chief enjoined commanders to sustain the high level of professionalism so far exhibited in employment of platforms in the field to ensure optimal performance.
According to him, it is a Command responsibility to ensure proper deployment, employment and maintenance of all equipment and facilities.
He said the conference had provided them the opportunity to interact and deliberate on the affairs of the army such as ongoing operations, training, logistics and the welfare of personnel.
“The current logistics framework for the NA as highlighted during the Conference is geared towards ensuring seamless and speedy movement of men and materiel across the theatres of operation.
“Efforts in the past year have centred primarily on procurement of the needed vehicles, arms, ammunition and spares. This laudable trend will be vigorously sustained all through the year and beyond.
“Commanders are therefore urged to sustain the high level of professionalism so far exhibited in employment of these platforms in the field to ensure optimal performance. It is a Command responsibility to ensure proper deployment, employment and maintenance of all equipment and facilities.”