The chief of army staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai has disclosed that the military has concluded investigations into the killing of police officers on official duty to arrest kidnap kingpin Hamisu Bala aka Wadume by soldiers in Taraba State and vowed to deal with erring soldiers.
Lt Gen Buratai disclosed this in his opening address at the chief of army staff’s combined second and third quarters conference in Abuja to appraise the Nigerian Army’s performance.
He said the incident calls for a strengthened inter-service relationship to forestall future occurrence.
While charging commanders to reorient their soldiers on civil military relations and inter-service relationship, he said such clashes has dented the hard earned image of the Nigerian army.
“It is imperative to be more proactive in ensuring discipline and professionalism of our personnel in dealing with other agencies of government and indeed the larger society.
“We should all note that the Nigerian Army as part of the Armed Forces of Nigeria is mandated to support the civil authority and the Nigerian Police Force in internal security operations. However recent occurrences have shown that there is need for more reorientation on civil military relations and inter-service relations at the junior level,” he said.
He added, “Unfortunately incidences such the one at Ibi in Taraba State which generated intense media comments are not healthy for the smooth cooperation and operation of our security forces.
” Investigations have been completed and decisive actions will be taken to ensure it never happens again,” he said.
The COAS reiterated that the Army would not condone any act of indiscipline that will tarnish its hard earned good image.
“I hereby charge commanders to educate personnel on the need to adhere to the rules of engagement at all times and also respect extant laws and the fundamental human rights of the citizens as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he stressed.
Speaking on the Army’s operations, he said the service has redefined Operation Lafiya Dole with the Super Camp concept to end terrorism in the Northeast.
He explained that the Super Camp Concept entails the concentration of fighting forces in strong holds that have the capacity to respond swiftly to threats.
The COAS noted that so far, 20 Super Camps have been established in the Northeast with more platforms deployed to support the initiative.
He said the various operations earlier launched by the Army against armed banditry and kidnapping have recorded successes despite setbacks in Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara states.
He restated that the welfare and administrative concerns of personnel especially those deployed in the various operations must be addressed.
He therefore directed that soldiers who have met the executive commission requirements should be recommended for Presidential commissioning.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP) Lt General Lamidi Adeosun said the 2nd quarter conference which is supposed to have been held in June could not take place due to operational exigencies.
He noted that the combined conference focuses to appraise and review the Nigerian Army strategies for the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa elections.