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Be vigilant, stay away from politicians, COAS tells soldiers


From Molly Kilete, Abuja

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, has warned officers and soldiers of the Nigerian army to stay away from politicians and resist temptations by misguided elements to disrepute the image of the service.

The army chief has equally warned those fueling crises in various parts of the Country to desist from their unpatriotic acts or have themselves to blame.

Gen Yahaya has also charged commanders of the various army operations n the country to be vigilant and emplace stringent measures to maintain efficient security of arms and ammunition.

The COAS, who gave the charge at the closing of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) third quarter conference in Abuja, said the warning has become necessary as the 2023 general elections draws nearer.

He said the directive on the reviewed Nigerian Army Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct for Operation SAFE CONDUCT during the elections should be adhered to strictly before, during and after the elections.

“I want to enjoin all formation and unit commanders on the need to be vigilant, aware of all situation through constant monitoring and ensuring proactive solution to situations,” he said.

“Commanders are equally reminded on the need to emplace stringent measures to maintain efficient security of arms and ammunition.

“Additionally, the directive on the reviewed Nigerian Army Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct for Operation SAFE CONDUCT should be adhered to strictly by all during the electioneering period. Thus, commanders must ensure that subordinates are educated on the guidelines provided in the document.

“Commanders must also ensure the professional conduct of troops and resist any distraction and attempt by misguided elements to disrepute the image of the Nigerian Army. All must remain professional and apolitical in conduct all through Op SAFE CONDUCT.”

The army chief who commended officers and soldiers for their doggednesses, bravery and commitment to the service of the nation, urged them to continue to protect the nations territorial integrity with the last drop of their blood.

He said with the tempo of operational activities in all the theatre across the country, insecurity would soon become a thing of the past.

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According to him, “I expect that with the improved support we have in terms of logistics and other key combat enablers, we should strive to decisively and quickly defeat the adversaries in all theatres of operations.

“There is no doubt that with our efforts in collaboration with Sister Services and other security agencies, the state of security in the country will continue to improve in the days ahead. I therefore urge all commanders to remain committed, more so that the 2023 electioneering would soon commence.”

To those fueling crisis in the country, the army chief said: “Let me seize this opportunity to advise those fueling crises in various parts of the Country to desist from their unpatriotic acts. I strongly advise them to retrace their steps as the Nigerian Army, within the ambit of rule of law, will continue to ensure that all peace-loving citizens of this country go about their legitimate businesses and live their lives without fear or intimidation.

“I wish to inform the public that the Nigerian Army would continue to work closely with other security agencies to provide peaceful environment.”

The COAS said the weeklong conference has afforded the army to appraise its activities rejuvenated towards achieving the goal of discharging its constitutional responsibilities.

According to him, “in the course of the conference, we vigorously examined issues affecting professional conduct of personnel. We equally reviewed training, operations and manpower matters as well as various projects embarked upon by the Nigerian Army. Therefore, in the last quarter of the year, I implore you all to lay emphasis on activities that would enable the Nigerian Army to consolidate on the gains so far achieved.”

Continuing, he said: “As regard the massive ongoing and completed infrastructural projects in all Nigerian Army Cantonments, I urge you commanders to take responsibility and emplace effective measures for their maintenance. Still on the welfare of our troops, the NA is developing a robust programme to enhance the rehabilitation and resuscitation of our personnel that are disabled due to injuries from operations. I am sure that when this iscompleted, the impact on the morale and performance of our troops will speak for itself.

“I wish to once more commend you all for the optimism and commitment you have reflected during the conference which clearly showed in the quality of discussions and contributions made. I also believe that you have all noted the valuable points from the extensive deliberations that would help improve our performance in the field.

“It is important that I also reiterate that the Nigerian Army, under my leadership remains loyal to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to Mr President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. On behalf of the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, I wish to most respectfully reassure the people of our commitment to the defence of Nigeria. We also remain grateful to the Commander in Chief for his unflinching support to the Nigerian Army which has contributed immensely to the huge successes recorded against the enemies of the country.”

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