Nigerian troops in bullish mood get set for a trip into repossessed northern Borno
PHOTO CREDIT: HEATHER MURDOCK/VOA NEWS
19 August, 2013
Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, a Lt. General, has challenged men and
officers of the Nigerian Army to imbibe
the spirit of professionalism in their
career and desist from meddling in issues of religion.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of
the Basic Counter Terrorism Course 13/13 at the Nigerian Army Training Centre
(NATRAC), Kontagora in Niger State at
the weekend, Ihejirika warned that
those who engage in religious extremism will have no place in the Nigerian Army.
“Military as a career the world over,
Nigerian Army inclusive, does not
promote any particular religion but the
common mandate of protecting territorial integrity of Nigeria and as such will not hesitate to flush out soldiers engaging in acts of religious extremism. “It has been observed of recent that a religious cleric has been distributing inciting statements, leaflets and compact disc loaded with information to confuse, misdirect and cause disaffection amongst you. “It is also targeted at breaking the espirit-de-corps which binds us together as a fighting force,” the army chief noted.
While calling on the soldiers to read
between the lines to sieve lies,
propaganda, and misinformation that
would cause confusion in the military,
Ihejirika urged them to disregard such
propaganda and continue in their resolve at protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians.
Represented at the occasion by
Commander of NATRAC, Sylvester Audu, a
Major-General, the Chief of Army Staff
said training and re-equipping of the
Nigerian Army are ongoing projects and
urged the soldiers to acquaint themselves with new equipment, which they will use to forestall any incursion into Nigerian territory.
Describing as spurious, allegations that the armed forces were opposed to amnesty for members of the Boko Haram sect, Ihejirika said “most of the spurious allegations recently raised by a religious cleric accusing the Armed Forces of being opposed to amnesty for the insurgents were untrue and baseless.
“You can see for yourselves the
infrastructural developments around you
in Kontagora Barracks which are also
replicated in other barracks all over the
country to improve your efficiency,service delivery and as well as your well being. “Generally, welfare is being improved, new barracks are being built and old houses are also being renovated. “In particular, I have released some funds for the renovation of soldiers’ accommodation to reduce the stress on the already stretched accommodation in NATRAC. ‘I have also directed the headquarters, NAE, to come up with design of a befitting students’ accommodation block”, Ihejirika added.
A total of 1,600 young soldiers made up
of 1,431 males and 169 females attended the course that lasted two months.
Also in his address, Director, Counter
Terrorism and Counter Insurgency(CTCOIN), Tijani Golau, a Brigadier-
General, explained that the main
objective of the course was to avail the
soldiers the requisite skill and knowledge to combat the current wave of contemporary security challenges in the country.