By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has said that the global index on Terrorism has recognised and applauded the successes of the Nigerian Army against terrorists in the Northeast.
Yahaya said this at the opening of the First Quarter 2022 Chief of Army Staff Conference, on Tuesday, in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Nigeria was ranked fourth on the 2022 Global Terrorism Index (GTI), an improvement from the sixth position it had been on since 2017.
Nigeria, Syria and Somalia were the only countries among the 10 most impacted by terrorism to record an improvement in their scores from 2020 to 2021.
The report was published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), an independent and not-for-profit think tank.
He said that the effort and gains against bandits and other violent criminals in the Northwest and North Central, secessionists in the South East and other criminals in other geo-political zones were also gaining success.
The COAS said the successes were achieved through increased synergy with sister services, other security agencies and stakeholders.
He said his focus since his assumption of command, was directed towards improved personnel development to re-invigorate and rejuvenate the troops towards achieving the mandate of the Nigerian army.
“This has been largely achieved with the increasing re-equipping of the Nigerian Army, which has made the force better poised to tackle the myriad contemporary and emerging security threats.
“The increased deployments of army troops in various theatres of operations across the country, as well as creation of new units and forward operating bases had provided the much-needed impetus in our operations with several successes recorded,“ he said.
The COAS added that training activities such as Exercise Restore Hope and Exercise Project Stinger, in conjunction with foreign partners, were also yielding the desired results.
He said that more collaboration would be sought with foreign partners in various spheres with the gradual waning of the impacts of COVID-19 on the global front.
Yahaya said the Nigerian army had continued to contribute successfully in several joint operations across the country in line with his vision to promote ‘jointness’ in operations.
He gave the assurance that the Army would continue to work with the Navy and Air Force, as well as other security agencies and relevant stakeholders towards ensuring enduring peace in the country.
The COAS said the procurement and deployment of several platforms, particularly Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Artillery pieces into the theatres of operations had immensely enhanced the performance of troops.
According to him, the professional employment of these hardware, coupled with astute leadership provided by field commanders, had led to the successes recorded so far.
“We shall continue to forge ahead with even greater vigour, commitment and determination and would not let you down.
“We have also evolved seamless administrative measures and improved tremendously on welfare packages, to boost the morale of our troops.
“Some of our new welfare packages aimed at improving the overall wellbeing of the troops would be unveiled in the course of this conference.
“The Nigerian Army has also intensified its civil-military relation efforts and imbibed the best global practice in the conduct of various operations, in line with the principles of the Laws of Armed Conflict as well as promotion and respect for fundamental human rights.
“This was most evident in the professional conduct of troops during Operation Safe Conduct, while in support of civil authorities during the conduct of the Anambra state elections in November 2021.
“This would be the benchmark for any such engagements in the future,” he said.
The Chief of Policy and Plans (Army), Maj.-Gen. Anthony Omozoje, said the conference was organised to appraise army operations across the various theatres of operation in the last three months.
Omozoje said there had been significant progress in army operations on all fronts, as well as increased activities on the nation’s political landscape.
He added that the current happening also necessitated the need to review operational engagements.
He further said that the conference was designed with a view to improving the performance of the Nigerian army, while striving to actualise the vision of the COAS.
Omozoje said that it was expected that all participants would make invaluable contributions that will impact positively on our collective efforts to improve national security.
NAN reports that the COAS conference had in attendance the principal staff officers of the Army and Defence Headquarters, Chief of Defence Intelligence, Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Commandants of Army Institutions and field commanders. (NAN)