Army Chief advises soldiers to continually protect citizens

Cyril Okonkwo, Enugu

Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has asked soldiers to protect the rights of citizens urging them to keep to their Rules of Engagement, R.O.E.

Lt Gen. Buratai stated this while addressing soldiers at the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu as he embarked on a familiarisation tour of formations under the division. 

He said the R. O. E. of the Nigerian army is on human right protection.

The army chief, however, said that the observation of the R.O.E. would not deter soldiers from opening fire when occasion demands it.

He said: “So, if you apply the Rules of Engagement and there is cause for you to open fire, you are well protected by the constitution and all the various legislations.

“So, take note. You behave professionally; you must protect lives; you must protect the dignity of every Nigerian”

Lt. Gen Buratai said the army would not tolerate anyone breaking the laws where soldiers have been deployed to perform their duties, charging them to be decisive in their operations.

Buratai, who met earlier with the General Officer Commanding the 82 Division, Brigadier-General Ibrahim Attahiru, and commanders of the various formations under the division, said soldiers fighting the insurgency in North East Nigeria were doing well and pledged the commitment of the Nigerian Army to look after the families of troops deployed to the area.

He said the military is the Sambisa Forest, the enclave of the insurgents, explaining that strategic planning and intelligence were required to clear the forest of the terrorist group.

Army Professionalism
The COAS said that he was committed to ensuring that the Nigerian Army remains professionally responsive in carrying out its constitutional duties.

“This is being pursued and the result is being seen in all the formations,” Buratai said, pledging that the army would perform its duties in the best manner as taught in their various training institutions.

Welfare of soldiers
The army chief said steps have taken to ensure the education of the children and wards of soldiers as well as their health.

He said the education corps was being re-positioned to provide the best services.

Answering a question on the alleged killing of pro-Biafra protesters in Abia State, Buratai said that the army was investigating the incident.

He said that any incident that involves the loss of life is always investigated, but added that “troops cannot open fire just for the sake of fun.”