CNN #EndSARS report: Nigerian Army is professional, Buratai responds
•Allays fears on rising kidnapping and insurgency activities in recent time
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai on Wednesday declared that the Nigerian Army is a professional Corps operating in accordance with the rules of engagement.
The COAS stated this while speaking on the recent #EndSARS protest when he received members of the House of Representatives committee on Army at Army headquarters in Abuja.
Apparently making reference to alleged involvement of the Nigerian Army in the shooting of the Lekki #EndSARS protesters and a recent report by CNN that live bullets were used on the protesters, he debunked the claims.
According to him,“let me assure you and all Nigerians that the Nigerian Army is professional. We follow our rules of engagement. Nigerians should feel safe.
“We abide by rules of engagement and the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, we don’t engage in unprofessional activities as we are being alleged.”
While also speaking on the issue of kidnapping and banditry causing untold hardship on citizens along the Abuja–Kaduna road, the COAS said, “the issues of kidnapping and bandits attacks are being taken care of” noting that the Nigerian Air Force and the Army are doing a lot in this regard.
Gen. Buratai disclosed that the Nigerian Army, Aviation is being reactivated towards boosting the capability of the Army to subsequently rise up to the challenges of insecurity in the country,
According to him, “In this regard, we have acquired two helicopters from the Transmission Company of Nigeria. We have added them to our platform and they will be rehabilitated and used for research.”
The Army Chief told the committee members that owing to the myriad of security challenges confronting the country, there is need for a Special Intervention Fund from the government for procurement of more equipment, training and provision of accommodation and other infrastructure in military barracks.
According to him, “even though the budget has been made, there may be a requirement for virement of funds because of a shortage of funds needed for procurement of hardware equipment especially to tackle the challenges in the North East and North West.
“Procurement of platforms for the Armoured Corps also requires special intervention because with 100 per cent equipment capability, tackling insecurity will be enhanced and criminal elements wiped out.”
While soliciting that more appropriation of funding was required to enable the construction and completion of accommodation for officers and soldiers as well as infrastructure, Buratai said, “We have so much dilapidation across Nigerian Army units and formations but were are taking them gradually.
Earlier, Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Army, Hon Abdulrasaq Namdas had said that the members of the Committee were at the Army headquarters to brief the COAS about their observations during their oversight visit to military formations across the country.
The lawmaker said that during the visit, the committee witnessed tremendous improvements in terms of infrastructure, repair of accommodation, provision of water and roads in many Army units and formations adding that they were allowed unfettered access to units as ordered by Lt. Gen. Buratai.
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