The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has told troops and operations commanders that they need to take decisive actions to defeat the security challenges confronting the country, irrespective of the circumstances.
Troops have often attributed the failure to run over the Boko Haram terrorists and bandits to lack of weapons and poor remuneration.
But the COAS, who gave the marching order in his address at the opening ceremony of the Chief of Army Staff Conference in Abuja, stressed that he would no longer accept excuses from troops.
Yahaya said: “Commanders must take initiatives; they must take decisive actions to defeat the threats in their respective Areas of Responsibilities (AORs). I will not again take or accept excuses. Gentlemen, failure is failure, irrespective of the circumstances.
“I want to state that the Nigerian Army under my watch will remain resolute and continue to chart progressive paths towards tackling the security challenges confronting the country.
“Hence, I have directed that serious attention be given to sustaining and improving the tempo in all ongoing Nigerian Army operations across the country. I have also directed for the conduct of special operations, especially in the Northcentral and the Northwest to address the deteriorating security infractions in the regions.
“Commanders must, therefore, glean from my Command Philosophy to ensure that operational and administrative proficiencies of Nigerian Army units and formations are sustained and improved upon.
“Commanders must seize initiatives and commanders must take initiatives. They must take decisive actions to defeat the threats in their respective AORs. I will not again take or accept no excuses. Gentlemen, failure is failure, irrespective of the circumstances.”
He said: “I am aware of logistics constraints affecting operations across the country and I am glad to inform you that efforts are in progress to provide us with combat enablers that would enhance and boost our operations. Concerted efforts are also being made to eliminate the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which have been a major impediment to troops and our operations in Operation Hadin Kai.
“I want to assure you that I am determined to rebuild the fighting skills, capacity, confidence, and morale of our troops across the various theatres of operations. Training must also be given due attention that it deserves. In order to achieve this, priorities for the fourth quarter of the year would include training and more training.
“I will ensure that through functional training, officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army are equipped with the right attitude, competences and skills to effectively undertake daring missions, in addition to developing special operations forces. This would be closely followed by procurement that ensures appropriate kitting and provision of protective gear, weapons, equipment and platforms.
“Let me, however, remind you all that while no effort will be spared in achieving these goals, it is command responsibility to ensure the sustenance and maintenance of all equipment. We must, therefore, strive to improve our maintenance culture to prolong the life span of our platforms and equipment.
“I have serious concerns and remain very committed to restoring, developing, and improving the confidence, skills and competences of individual soldier progressively in his career up to Senior Noncommissioned Officers and Warrant Officers levels.
“I hereby charge Training and Doctrine Command along with the Department of Army Training, Corps and Nigerian Army Schools to develop additional leadership training modules, courses and curriculum to enhance the career of individual soldier.
“The aim is to develop the individual soldier’s competences to enable him conduct his activities more effectively, assert his command and leadership role as Non-Commissioned Officer, Senior Non-Commissioned Officer and Warrant Officer.
“We need similar additional leadership development modules and courses for our young officers to enable them grow as competent, effective leaders and commanders. We can explore officers and soldiers’ leadership training modules from other countries even though we should be alert and to domesticate them to best suit our needs, and our environment.
“Sound administration of our troops is essential to operational effectiveness and high morale, hence troops’ welfare and that of their families will also be given paramount attention. Welfare is not only limited to monetary incentives or promotion, but it also includes effective and realistic training which would save the troops’ lives and avert injuries.”