Says indicted officers will be dealt with as deterrent
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has confirmed that the army has concluded investigations on the killings of police officers by some army personnel.
Buratai who confirmed this during the opening of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Combined 2nd and 3rd Quarters Conference on Tuesday in Abuja, said all those found culpable would be decisively dealt with to serve as a deterrent.
“We should all note that the army, as part of the Armed Forces of Nigeria is mandated to support the civil authorities and the Nigeria 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 cooperation at the junior cadre levels.
“Unfortunately, incidents such as the recent one at Ibi in Taraba which generated intense media comments are not healthy for the smooth cooperation and operation of our security forces,” he said.
Buratai added that the recent case of the alleged rape of a lady by a soldier and the shooting of a motorcyclist by another soldier in Abia, were examples of events that the authorities must guard against.
The army chief also warned that the authorities would not condone any form of indiscipline or actions that would tarnish its good image.
“I hereby charge commanders at all levels to continue to educate personnel on the need to adhere to the rules of engagement at all times.
“They should respect all extant laws and the fundamental human rights of citizens as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” he said.
Meanwhile, the army chief called for reorientation of personnel on civil-military relations and inter-service cooperation to ensure discipline and professionalism.
Buratai said this would also help in dealing with other agencies of government and the larger society.
He said that the conference was geared towards positioning the army to having a professionally responsive force in the discharge of its constitutional roles.
Buratai appreciated the Minister of Defence for his recent visit to the Northeast and the Theatre Command of Operation Lafiya Dole to see things for himself.
He disclosed that the minister visited various troops locations in the theatre and interacted with both officers and soldiers deployed in the frontline.
“I have therefore on behalf of all of you, pledged our loyalty and cooperation to make the Nigerian Army and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria the best they can be.
“I can assure you that the minister has very good and lofty plans to transform the armed forces. I urge you to support him in this visions and plans,” he said.