Against the backdrop of mounting security threats from different parts of the country, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya has charged Formation Commanders and Commanders at all levels to rise up to the challenge and seize initiatives that he has outlined to counter them, warning, “I will not again take or accept excuses. Failure is failure irrespective of the circumstances”.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the COAS Combined Second and Third Quarter Conference at the Command Officers Mess 1, Abuja on Monday, the Army Chief said, “I want to state that, the Nigerian Army under my watch will remain resolute and continue to chart progressive paths towards tackling the security challenges confronting the Country.
“Hence, I have directed that serious attention be given to sustaining and improving the tempo in all ongoing Nigerian Army operations across the Country. I have also directed for the conduct of special operations especially in the North Central and Northwest Regions to address the deteriorating security infractions in the Regions.
“Commanders must therefore glean from my Command Philosophy to ensure that operational and administrative proficiencies of Nigerian Army units and formations are sustained and improved upon. Commanders must seize initiative and commanders must take initiative, they must take decisive actions to defeat the threats in their respective Areas of Responsibilities. I will not again take or accept no excuses. Gentlemen, failure is failure irrespective of the circumstances”.
Continuing the COAS said, “We have commenced building bridges across the Services and agencies through robust joint, interagency, and inter-governmental framework to confront our current security challenges. As formation commanders and Principal Staff Officers, your role is critical to the attainment of my vision. As officers and commanders under whose charge are placed men, materiel, and other resources, you are the key drivers of these pillars.
You must therefore note that even if we have all we require, we might not achieve much without you providing effective leadership, good attitude and acting professionally in all our conduct, of operations and other activities. I therefore charge you all, to immediately key into my vision so that together, we can take the Nigerian Army to greater heights.
“I am aware of logistics constraints affecting operations across the Country and I am glad to inform you that efforts are in progress to provide us with combat enablers that would enhance and boost our operations. Concerted efforts are also being made to eliminate the threat of improvised explosive devices which has been a major impediment to troops and our operations in Operation Hadin Kai.
“I want to assure you that I am determined to rebuild the fighting skills, capacity, confidence, and morale of our troops across the various theatres of operations. Training must also be given due attention that it deserves. In order to achieve this, priorities for the fourth quarter of the year would include training and more training.
“I will ensure that through functional training, officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army are equipped with the right attitude, competences and skills to effectively undertake daring missions In addition to developing special operations forces. This would be closely followed by procurement that ensures appropriate kitting and provision of protective gear, weapons, equipment and platforms.
“Let me however remind you all that while no effort will be spared in achieving these goals, it is command responsibility to ensure the sustenance and maintenance of all equipment. We must therefore strive to improve our maintenance culture to prolong the life span of our platforms and equipment.
He added, “I have serious concerns and very committed to restoring, developing, and improving the confidence, skills and competences of individual soldier progressively in his career up to Senior Non Commissioned Officers and Warrant Officers levels. I hereby charge Training and Doctrine Command along with the Department of Army Training, Corps and NA Schools to develop additional Leadership Training Modules, Courses and Curriculum to enhance the career of individual soldiers.
“The aim is to develop the individual soldier’s competences to enable him conduct his activities more effectively, assert his command and leadership role as Non-Commissioned Officer, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer and Warrant Officer. We need similar additional leadership development Modules and Courses for our young officers to enable them grow as competent, effective leaders and commanders. We can explore officers and soldiers’ leadership training modules from other countries even though we should be alert and to domesticate them to best suit our needs, and our environment.
“Sound administration of our troops is essential to operational effectiveness and high morale; hence troops’ welfare and that of their families will also be given paramount attention. Welfare is not only limited to monetary incentives or promotion, but it also includes effective and realistic training which would save the troops’ lives and avert injuries.
” Welfare includes genuine concerns for the troops well being, care and maintenance of their facilities and amenities, easing their challenges and hardship, sharing in their pains and joys, Interacting with them humanely and with respect in accordance with the Service provisions, Welfare as part of effective training would include guiding and mentoring of subordinates, appreciating their strength and weaknesses, and being firm and fare to them in all circumstances,
Appreciating “all the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army for their unrelenting sacrifice and efforts in ensuring that the Nigerian Army fulfills its constitutional responsibilities, the Army Chief said,
“I will continue to demand that you redouble your efforts so that we can decisively deal with our adversaries or any group or person that threaten the peace and stability of our great nation. In so doing, we will achieve our end state of ensuring a peaceful and stable Nigeria. I will also be using this Conference to give very clear directives of what I expect from all of you.
Highlight of the conference was the induction of 10 Satellite Communication Vehicles by the Chief of Army Staff to be deployed to operational/battle theatres to aid communication for troops to combat banditry and insurgency as well as award of Chadian Medal of honour to Commandant of NDA, Maj Gen IM Yusuf
A lecture titled, “Leadership Development As A Panacea for Accomplishing Mission in A Joint Environment” was delivered by a former Chief of Training and Operations, Nigerian Army, Major Gen Lawrence Ngubane (rtd).
Present at the conference were the Chief of Defence Intelligence, Principal Staff Officers, TRADOC Commander, GOCs, Corp Commanders, Commandants of Training Institutions, Commandant, Nigeria Defence Academy, Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, Force Commander, Multi-national Joint Task Force MNJTF