2023: Chief of Army Staff orders officers to deal decisively with criminals

AHEAD of the 2023 general election, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Faruk Yahaya, has directed officers of the Nigerian Army across the country to deal with criminals who might want to cause trouble within their domains. 

General Faruk Yahaya, who gave the directive at the closing of the 2022 Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference on Friday in Sokoto, told the officers to sustain the tempo of operations in their commands. 

He disclosed that the conference was meant to assess the army’s readiness to support the civil authority in the conduct of next year’s elections. 

He said: “I am happy to state that the Nigerian Army formations and units have developed robust contingency plans to assist the civil authority in the provision of enabling environment for the elections. 

“Indeed, the reviewed Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct recently issued to troops were extensively discussed and commanders are now better informed on their responsibilities as well as the obligations of their personnel. 

“Additionally, the lessons learnt during our security support for the elections held in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states were also deliberated upon with sound conclusions reached to enhance our security duties in the upcoming elections. 

“Thus, I wish to assure all the people that personnel of the Nigerian Army are well positioned to discharge their constitutional duty of providing peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the 2023 electioneering period. 

“I have set a strong and realisable target for commanders to deliver. Accordingly, I wish to reiterate some of these targets which you all need to focus on as you return to your bases. 

“You are to sustain the tempo of operations and deal decisively with all criminals in doing so. All formations and units must maximally utilise the equipment at their disposal and neutralise the criminals, particularly in their hideouts. Stringent measures must also be emplaced to ensure the proper safeguard of armouries and account of all arms, ammunition and other equipment. “The welfare of men should continue to be accorded premium attention while also ensuring their professional conduct through effective supervision and monitoring. 

“You must also ensure that all personnel remain apolitical and avoid fraternisation with politicians. In the course of accomplishing your goals, you must also continue to consolidate on the improved synergy with our sister-services and other security agencies through joint training and exercises. 

“Additionally, commanders should monitor political developments and threats, conduct precursor operations and rehearse contingency plans to facilitate swift security intervention. 

“The security measures in all barracks should also be continuously reviewed and reinforced. It is also imperative for commanders to liaise with the Nigerian Police, Department of State Services and the Nigerian Correctional Service to reinforce security measures in all correctional facilities in their Areas of Responsibilities. 

“I wish to assure you all commanders that the Army Headquarters will vigorously sustain ongoing efforts to provide the requisite resources for you to accomplish your missions.”

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