The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai has warned Officers of the Nigerian Army not to show any sympathy to any Political party, religious or ethnic group as the nation commence activities for the 2019 general elections.
The Chief of Army Staff made this known on Tuesday while he was advising military officers and personnel to shun politicians who are likely to approach them during the elections, said a Special Court Martial has been established by military authorities to try defaulters of the code of conduct guiding the military.
Buratai made this warning at the opening of the 2nd and 3rd Quarters Chief of Army Staff Conference held at Command Officers’ Mess, Asokoro, Abuja, on Tuesday. He said any military personnel interested in partisan politics should resign forthwith.
He also said that necessary steps should be taken by army commanders to prevent any act that is inimical to the corporate existence, unity and stability of the country, maintaining that any lapse in this regard would not be condoned.
At the Conference which was attended by GOCs, Field Commanders, Corps Commanders as well as Commanders of Army Schools and Institutions, Lt Gen. Buratai said “as political activities unfold towards the 2019 General Elections, GOCs and Field Commanders at all levels are enjoined to continue to remind officers and soldiers under their command to remain non-partisan and be guided by the stipulated code of conduct in the discharge of their duties.”
In his words Buratai said:
” As professional soldiers, none of us should be sympathetic to any political, religious or ethnic cause. Any personnel of the NA who is interested in politics should voluntarily retire from the NA to pursue his / her political passion.
“Furthermore, I wish to remind all on the prohibition of NA personnel from any form of worship outside the established barracks worship areas, except those permitted for wedding and some peculiar social functions.
“I want to reiterate that the Special Court Martial to try defaulters is already in place. I enjoin you all to observe the codes of conduct guiding military personnel and thus refrain from any occult, ethnic, political or religious extremism as these would distract us from our enshrined constitutional responsibility as professional soldiers”.
Lt. Gen Buratai explained that the conference was meant to appraise the performances of the army in the past few months in line with set objectives and to chat a course forward on how to deliver on various activities and operations in the remaining months ahead.
“The ongoing operations in different part of the country to curtail the activities of Boko Haram Terrorists, farmers/herdsmen clashes, armed banditary, cattle rustling, Kidnapping, pipeline vandalism and militancy among other crimes have witnessed tremendous achievements.
“I want to emphasize that these successes must be sustained and consolidated. I therefore urge you to bring your ingenuities to bear on your duties,” the COAS stated.
Speaking Regarding military operations across the country, Lt Gen . Buratai said:
“The NA has launched Op LAST HOLD in the North East to completely degrade the Boko Haram Terrorist group around Lake Chad region and to facilitate the return of the internally displaced persons to their homes.
“The operation is still ongoing and is achieving the set objectives. Additionally, the security situation in the North West and North Central particularly around some parts of Kaduna, Zamfara, Benue, Plateau and Taraba states have necessitated the deployment of troops by the NA, sister Services and other security agencies to put a stop to wanton destruction of lives and properties.
” I want to urge the field commanders not to relent on their efforts to ensure effective synergy amongst the security agencies Within their respective Area of Responsibility to achieve desired end-states.
“As part of efforts to complement the defence and arrangements put in place to Checkmate the security challenges in the country, I directed the establishment of 17 Bde in Katsina. I also directed the establishment of the NA Cyber Warfare Command to explore the cyber dimension to warfare and other military operations.
“Others are the reestablishment of NA Special Project under the office of the COAS and establishment of FOB in Epe among others. Furthermore, Headquarters 8 Div and 1 Bde have been relocated to their permanent headquarters in Sokoto and Zamfara States respectively as provided in the NA ORBAT 2016 while 123 SF Bn has also been established to complement the efforts of 707 SF Bde.
“The NA must continue to be proactive and decisive to ensure safety of Nigerians wherever they may reside.
” It is imperative to note that the unity and territorial integrity of Nigeria lies With the military and the NA in particular. Therefore, we must brace up to this onerous task which can only be borne with effort. Let me remind all commanders that, as a command responsibility, necessary steps must be taken in all circumstances to prevent any act that is inimical to the corporate existence, unity and stability of the country. I must add that any lapse in this regard would not be condoned.”
Lt. Gen Buratai also lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his continuous support and understanding his administration has shown to the military so far and assured that the military would continue to give their best to protect the territorial integrity of the country and ensure that the country is safe and secure for economic growth and development.