By Victor Akaa, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has virtually commissioned the headquarters of Nigerian Army Cyber Warfare Command Complex and Nigerian Army Command Intelligence School at Muhammad Buhari Cantonment Giri, Abuja.
Performing the ceremony to commemorate 2020 Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference in Abuja,President Buhari noted that despite the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economy and every aspect of national life the Army has undoubtedly performed maximally in restoring law and order as well as massive improvement in infrastructural development with the limited resources.
Buhari who was the Special Guest of Honour, also commended the army for its unwavering commitment towards curtailing the activities of bandits,insurgents kidnappers and other associated crimes through the ongoing military operations in different parts of the country.
He particularly said the Exercise SAHEL SANITY launched a few months ago in the North West states to rid the Katsina-Zamfara corridor of marauding bandits had recorded commendable progress.
”I have also been briefed about the tremendous successes that have been achieved by troops during the ongoing Operation FIRE BALL in the North East.
”I charge you all to sustain these efforts until the full restoration of peace and security in the nation is achieved,” the President told members of the armed forces at the conference which provides an avenue for the leadership of the Army to re-assess its preparedness and operational readiness in carrying out its Constitutional roles.”
Reiterating the rights of citizens to a peaceful protest as stipulated in the constitution, he however warned against any act of hooliganism to thwart the existing peace in the country on the guise of lawful protest will be decisively dealt with.
President Buhari also commended the high level of professionalism displayed by all the security agents including army that led to the peaceful Gubernatorial elections conducted in Edo and Ondo States which was free or have little cases of security challenges.
Speaking on the theme Human Capacity Development in Sustaining Professionalism and Responsiveness of Nigerian Army in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles, President Buhari noted that it is only through human capacity development that any institution can attain the level of professionalism needed to effectively and efficiently carry out its Constitutional roles.
President Buhari while virtually declaring the conference opened, paid tribute to the families of officers and soldiers of the Nigerian army who have killed in action.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd), said the conference will afford the army the opportunity to reappraise the operational readiness for optimum performance in their discharge of the constitutional duties.
“The COAS Annual Conference as you all know is aimed at reviewing the operational readiness of Nigerian army in the discharge of its responsibility.
“I am hopeful that during the conference you will generate new strategies for enhancing stability in our country and chatting a new cause for Nigerian army in the years 2020.
“In line with the mandate of the ministry of Defence of ensuring high rate of combat readiness of the armed forces both on land, sea and air, I want to appreciate most sincerely, the president and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces for usual interventions and approval of funds for the procurement of critical equipment for the armed forces.
We are indeed very grateful for the enormous support given which had provided the service with requisite capabilities to tackle the numerous security threats across the country.
“Not unmindful of the present economic challenges that we are grappling with as a nation as well as the need for further critical sectors of our national life.”
He therefore commended President Buhari for always supporting the ministry with necessary resources ,assured the President of judicious application of those resources for purpose it meant for.
The Minister of Defence therefore thanked the military for the remarkable achievement in restoring peace in the country and massive improvement in infrastructural development despite the some cases of security threats within the year that threatened the safety and properties in the country
and the challenges Covid-19 pandemic that distorted human existence globally.
He however pledged the support of the ministry relating with the services to ameliorate the sufferings of the families of the deceased personnel,while appreciating their sacrifices during their life in service.
He urged the services chiefs not to relent in their efforts towards the accomplishment of their assigned roles.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff,Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai while delivering his welcome address said the current NA is more positioned and so determined in tackling the myriad of contemporary challenges in the country after the charge by the president in 2015 to build an army that is highly motivated and capable of dealing with any existing and emanating challenges in the country.
“Going down memory lane it is worthwhile to recall the state of affairs in tthe NA in early 2015 which was characterised by low morale arising from the consistent and set backs in the counter insurgency operations in the North East.
“Mr President charged on the assumption of our duty was to evolve a professional and highly motivated Nigerian army capable of conducting the full status of military operations in the decisive manner.
“This has been largely achieved with The Nigerian army currently well poised to tackle myriad of contemporary and numerous emerging security threats
“While this year has been quite challenging due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has distorted many of our activities
“I am happy to note that my strategic directive from the year 2020 which is to sustain the professionalism and responsiveness of Nigerian army in the discharge of constitutional role provided a point of reference which enable us to adopt quickly with numerous impact in our operations.”
Gen. Buratai who is the chief host of the event also enumerated his achievements within the period to include,massive infrastructural development, force restructuring and personnel training.
Others are ,execution of various operations and logistics ,improvemenon troops’ welfare packages,amongst others to better the living condition and to further boost the troops’ morale.
He also noted,that the civil military relationship have been highly intensified and also all the operations are conducted with full respect and promotion of fundamental human rights as it has become a global best practice considering the principals of laws of armed conflict.
“This was most evident in the professional conduct of troops guiding operation Field Shield while in support of civil authorities during the large scale criminality that ensued in the wake of #ENDSARS protest.
He said to better to enhancement the overall performance, the army will use the COAS conference to reevaluate and appraise its activities and efforts so far towards achieving the overall objective to better positioned the NA in facing the task in 2021 and beyond.
“As an responsive army,we are delighted to showcase to Mr. President our largest efforts as in placing the requisite capability for full status operations particularly in the cyber domain.”
He further commended the president for Commissioning the NACWC noting that the Command played its crucial role in all their operations since its establishment in 2017,hoping that the new complex will obscure capabilities that could lead to other operational successes
He thanked President Buhari for the unflinching and invariable support to the NA.
The COAS therefore pledged the Army’s unallowed loyalty and commitment to the defence of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.