The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Yusufu Buratai has charged Nigerian Army Chaplains to intensify prayers for security personnel particularly troops combating terrorism in North East Nigeria.
He therefore, urged the Chaplain Services and other religious bodies to devise means of keeping and encouraging families left behind by troops fighting Boko Haram Terrorists in the battlefield.
The COAS gave the charge in his keynote address to declare open the Nigerian Army Directorate of Chaplains Services (Roman Catholic) Training Week/Conference and Retreat 2017 at Maimalari Cantonment Officers Mess, Maiduguri on Tuesday, 21 November 2017.
Speaking through his representative, the Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, he commended the choice of location of the conference describing the retreat theme “Together in the Battlefield: The Effectiveness of Multi-Faith Collaboration in Combating Terrorism” as very apt and timely, considering the fact that Borno and other North Eastern states have been engaged in a battle against insurgency for long.
The Director of Nigerian Army Chaplain Services (Roman Catholic), Brigadier General (Very Reverend Father) Charles Iroegbu in his welcome address identified Soft Power as a technique used by religious directorates in winning the heart and mind of the people rather than relying solely on Hard Power that involves the physical use of force of arms in combating terrorism.
He said, the hosting of the Training Week/Conference and Retreat in Maiduguri, is to bring the presence of God by prayer intercession and to also add spiritual impetus to the fight against Boko Haram Terrorists by way of encouraging the troops.
The week long Training Week/Conference and Retreat 2017 kick started with an Opening Mass officiated by Arch Bishop of Maiduguri Diocese, His Lordship, Rev Fr. Dr. Oliver Daoeme.
As a prelude for the Conference Lectures and papers that borders on Religion and Inter-Faith Relationship and The Role of Chaplain/Imams in Combating Extreme Radicalism, Terrorism and Injustice in Nigeria were delivered by erudite clergy men Rev Fr. Dr. John Bakeni and Bishop Naga Williams Mohammed who is also the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) respectively.
Present at the occasion were the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Ibrahim Manu Yusuf, Borno State Commissioner for Religious Affairs, represented by Alhaji Mustapha and Chaplains from all the various formations and units of the Nigerian Army amongst other invited guests.
Colonel Kingsley Mfon Samuel,
Deputy Director 7 Division Army Public Relations
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