September 27, 2011
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika on Tuesday in Abuja restated Nigerian Army’s readiness to collaborate with other security agencies to tackle terrorism.
The army chief disclosed this while declaring open the Third Quarter Chief of Army Staff Conference. “What I want to say is that the army will live up to the expectations of Nigerians. The army is ever prepared to carry out any task assigned to it.
“The issue of curbing insecurity is a collective thing running from government at various levels to well-meaning citizens and all the security agencies.
“What I want to assure you is that the army will cooperate and collaborate with others to improve on our present performance.’’
Ihejirika noted that in spite of the commendation the army was receiving from well-wishers, expectations of his office and the public still remained high. He described as unacceptable, the constant bombings by Boko Haram in spite of preventive measures put in place.
Ihejirika said it was necessary for the army to design its mode of operation and cooperate with other security agencies in order to evolve effective measures that would help to guarantee security.
“It is definite that the groups that call themselves Boko Haram or terrorists receive training and possibly funding, from some foreign elements.
“This is evident from the type or weapons we have captured from them; from the type of communication equipment we have captured from them and from the expertise they have displayed in the preparation of improvised explosive devices. These are pointers to the fact that there is foreign involvement in the terrorism going on in Nigeria.’’
Ihejirika assured Nigerians that all acts of indiscipline on the part of soldiers and officers would be dealt with effectively whether by court martial or at the unit level.
“So, I have brought commanders in the field so that we will drum it into their ears and they too will interact with us and we will know how to deal with the problems once and for all.’’
Earlier in his opening remarks, Maj.-Gen. Olakunle Akinyemi, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Army, had said the conference was to appraise the performance of the army in terms of security. He added that it was also to evaluate the challenges before the army in order to enhance operational effectiveness.
Akinyemi explained that the conference provided an opportunity for officers in the army to be briefed on the preparations for the 2011 Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference.
He said: “The Nigerian Army will continue to perform its internal security duties as it is our constitutional obligation. We must try to improve our standard for greater performance. The key in this regard lies with the conduct, discipline and professionalism exhibited by our troops at all times”