Security: We will not let Nigerians down, COAS assures

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From Molly Kilete, Abuja

The Nigerian Army Thursday said that it has increased its deployments of troops in various theatres of operations across the country and created new units to effectively deal with the menace of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal groups in the country.

The army has equally assured that it would not let Nigerians down as it has intensified in its operations to wipe the various criminal groups disturbing the peace of the country.

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The Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, who gave the assurance, said that insecurity would soon be a thing of the past in the country as the Army has recorded tremendous successes in its counter-insurgency, anti banditry war and other internal security operations.

Gen Yahaya made this known at the opening of the 2022 Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), first-quarter conference holding in Abuja. The conference is being attended by Principal Staff Officers, General Officers Commanding, field commanders, commandants of Army Training institutions among other senior officers.

Declaring the conference open, the Army chief, while thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for his support, strategic guardiance and confidence reposed on officers and soldiers of the Nigerian army to carry out its job, said “we want to assure Nigerian that we won’t let them down, we will continue to forge ahead in our operational activities and we would get there by the grace of God”.

The COAS, while noting that the state of insecurity in Nigeria was marked by heightened insurgency in the North East, banditry in the North West as well as agitation for secession and sundry disturbances in other parts of the Country upon his assumption in office, said he concentrated on the improved personnel development to reinvigorate and rejuvenate the troops towards achieving the constitutional mandate of the Nigerian Army.

He said “This has been largely achieved with the increasing re-equipping of the Nigerian Army which has made the force better poised to tackle the myriad of contemporary and emerging security threats. Our modest successes against the terrorists in the Northeast are being recognized and applauded in the global index.

Continuing, he said: “Our untiring efforts and gains against armed bandits and other violent criminals in the Northwest and North Central, Secessionists in the South East and other criminals in other geo-political zones are also gaining success. This was achieved through increased synergy with our sister Services, other security agencies and stakeholders.

“Furthermore, training activities such as Ex RESTORE HOPE and Ex PROJECT STINGER in conjunction with foreign partners are yielding the desired results and would be accordingly sustained. With the gradual waning of the impacts of COVID-19 on the global front, more collaboration will be sought with foreign partners in various spheres. It is also heartwarming to note that in line with my vision to promote jointness in operations, the Nigerian Army has continued to contribute successfully in several joint operations across the country. We will continue to work assiduously with the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Air Force as well as other security agencies and relevant stakeholders towards ensuring enduring peace in our dear nation.

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He said that “within the last year, the Nigerian Army had embarked on a number of infrastructural development projects, undertook further force restructuring, as well as optimized logistical support amongst others. The procurement and deployment of several platforms, particularly Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Artillery pieces into the theatres of operations have immensely enhanced our performance.

“The professional employment of these hardware coupled with astute leadership provided by field commanders has led to the successes recorded so far. We will forever remain grateful to the Commander in Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for making the much-needed provisions and for his strategic guidance, his continuous support and confidence reposed in us. We equally appreciate all others at all levels who support and continue to contribute to our efforts at enhancing the operational effectiveness of the NA. We shall continue to forge ahead with even greater vigour, commitment and determination and would not let you down.”

He further stated that: “We have also evolved seamless administrative measures and improved tremendously on welfare packages, to boost the morale of our troops. Some of our new welfare packages aimed at improving the overall wellbeing of the troops would be unveiled in the course of this conference. The Nigerian Army has also intensified its civil-military relations efforts and imbibed the best global practices in the conduct of various operations in line with the principles of the Laws of Armed Conflict as well as promotion and respect for fundamental human rights. This was most evident in the professional conduct of troops during Operation SAFE CONDUCT while in support of Civil Authorities during the conduct of the Anambra State elections in November 2021. This would be the benchmark for any such engagements in the future.”

To consolidate on the successes attained so far, the COAS, said that “deliberate efforts would be made throughout this conference to appraise our ongoing activities. Our discussions would be focused on achieving the overall objective of better positioning the Nigerian Army to decisively confront the prevailing security challenges in the country. Such timely evaluation is critical in galvanizing our collective strength and eliminating our weaknesses.”

He expressed the hope that the briefs and presentations lined up for the conference would go a long way to generate robust deliberations and strategies to spur the Nigerian Army to greater heights in 2022 and beyond.

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