By Victor Akaa, Abuja
The delegation from the African Union – Economic Social and Cultural Council led by Dr. Tunji Asaolu has passed a vote of confidence on the Nigerian Army for the able leadership of Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army staff.
Leader of the delegation, African Union–Economic Social and Cultural Council, Dr. Tunji Asaolu made his position known when the delegation visited the headquarters of the Army in Abuja.
Dr. Asaolu said, Buratai has done wonderfully well in the areas of civil -military relations, improved in the internal security, reorganisation of army towards professionalism,improved in the social welfare of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army, as well as winning the war against terrorism and insurgency in the country amongst many others hence the need for the vote of confidence on him.
He said, it was necessary for the organisation to liaise with the Nigerian Army in the area of training, empowering the youth in the NE saying the organisation has a lot of activities and programme to offer.
The organisation further condemned in strong terms the move of Amnesty International to discredit the Nigerian Army on the basis of human rights violations saying the move was being sponsored by the West to destabilise Nigeria.
He also said, their organisation is spearheading the ‘silence the gun’ programme which is aim at preventing the proliferation of light weapons and arms in Africa and therefore employed the help of the NA in this regard.
According to him, the role of Nigerian Army in the African continent cannot be underrated and that informed the decision of the organisation to work with them (NA) for the implementation of the programme.
In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai said the visit was a morale booster and better increased the confidence of the NA in the fight against terrorism and other criminalities.
Buratai further said the initiative of silencing the gun was apt especially now that Nigeria and Africa is facing the menace of the proliferation of light weapons and arms.
“You have come with a message from the African Union. The AU Agenda 2063, of silencing the gun is a laudable initiative. It should be embraced by all and sundry.
“We have had this challenge for a long time. The proliferation of Small Arms across Africa and Nigeria is also affected”. He stated.
Army boss further said, to address this menace, all hands must be on desk. The reason why the Nigerian Army has been working hard with other security agencies to reduce the menace of proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria.
According to Buratai,the NA has taken some drastic measures which include monitoring of border, mopping of arms, national database of small arms and light weapons, amongst others to checkmate proliferation of arms, smuggling, human trafficking as well as supporting the AU’s ‘silencing the gun’ programme.
He said the country has a national data on recovery of light weapons” and strategy to verify to know countries of origin of recovered weapons.
On the fight against terrorism, insurgency and other criminalities, Buratai said both kinetic and non kinetic measures were been used to contain the situation.
“We have taken steps to address the security situation across Nigeria”.he expressed.
He urged everyone especially international organisations residing in Nigeria to support the fight against the insurgents and terrorism.
He further advised them to think towards
solving the socio-economic situation in the country to ameliorate the suffering of the people instead of vilifying the men and and women working hard to make the country safe.