The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has charged field commanders to complement whatever approach they take in prosecuting the ongoing counter insurgency operations with offensive posture.
The COAS, yesterday, ordered a thorough investigation of the discovery of militia camp at NYSC Orientation Camp, Nonwa Gbam, Tai Local Government Area (LGA), Rivers State by troops of 6 Division Nigerian Army, according to Nigeria Army’s Twitter handle, HQNigerianArmy. Buratai, who gave charge yesterday in Maiduguri at the conclusion of the Fourth Quarter Chief of Army Conference, said such posture was necessary to instill fear in the terrorists.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Army chief warned troops not to be deterred by the recent setbacks, especially at Metele, where the Boko Haram terrorists attacked troops of 157 Task Force Battalion, killed 23 of them and wounded 31 others.“Operational commanders at all levels must show leadership and inculcate such virtue in subordinate commanders.
“The recent unfortunate incidents involving our troops have given me great concern and should concern all of us.“We have not focused on providing adequate force protection and our offensive posture has been below expectation,’’ the army chief said.
According to him, the development of ‘super camps’ and more emphasis on functioning logistics bases will give us a more deliberate approach to achieving force protection and reducing our delivery of needed logistics to units in the field.“However, this approach must be complemented by a robust offensive posture that will instill fear in the enemy camp and inject fresh fighting spirit in our troops.’’
He expressed satisfaction that the objectives of the three-day conference had been achieved without giving details, but charged commanders to ensure that decisions reached were implemented.
The army chief used the opportunity to restate that the army would remain apolitical and non-partisan in the conduct of the 2019 general elections.He warned officers and soldiers to maintain peace in their areas of responsibilities and “shun the lure of politicians,” adding: “You are all expected to deal decisively with any individuals or groups, who may attempt to disrupt the 2019 general elections in line with our extant laws and rules of engagement.”
Buratai also said that in joint operations with non-military security agencies, field ranks must be given to deserving Senior Non-Commission Officers- SNCOs, noting that this is to ensure proper command and control in all operations where the army participates.The theme of the conference was ‘Optimising the operational efficiency of the Nigerian army towards safeguarding democracy and national security in Nigeria.’