Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah
As the war on terrorism rages, the Nigerian Army yesterday expressed its preparedness and readiness to battle the insurgents to a stop, adding that the war on terror is not a one day’s fight.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah, made this disclosure yesterday at the commencement of his familiarisation tour of the 81 Division area of responsibility to familiarise himself with the operational readiness of the division under the command of Major General Tamunomieibi Dibi.
At the occasion, which also afforded Minimah the opportunity of inspecting ongoing projects, addressed officers and men on the security situation in the country, where he said the military was already winning the war against terror.
The general, who said the forces of evil would be diminished when there is collaboration, also spoke on desertion of soldiers in war front, especially in the North-east.
He said: “Desertion is part of war. It is when you go to war that you know soldiers. So long as there is war, there will continue to be deserters but those who have volunteered to serve their nation will fall and fight and that is why we celebrate our fallen heroes.
“That is why we always organise a decent burial for all the fallen heroes killed in action which is their rights and our responsibility to do so for those who died in the service of the nation.”
Speaking to the officers who were mustered up at the parade ground for his address, the army chief urged them to take all forms of training given to them seriously as such prepares them for war situations.
He said: “An army that is professional takes all forms of training seriously. An army that does not train is not prepared for war because whatever training you undergo prepares you for war.
“Therefore, soldiers need to redefine themselves because it is a pedestal for leadership. This is because leadership is by example and so we advice and appeal to officers to lead by example as I will also do in order to lead the army to greater heights.
Addressing the issue of soldiers plying the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes in Lagos, he said: “Try as much as possible not to use the BRT lanes. It is to lessen the congestion of traffic of our roads that it was created.
“Don’t allow hoodlums to hijack anything that happens that involves soldiers, like what happened the last time when hoodlums hijacked the matter after a soldier was mistakenly killed by the BRT bus. I know my soldiers did not vandalise those properties.”
Speaking on discipline, he said: “Lagos has its own peculiarities as a cosmopolitan city, having all the complexities of a heterogeneous nature and thus, it has the good, bad and ugly.
“I won’t want any soldier to be entangled in vices because we have an image to protect as a disciplined force. Be good conduct in and out of uniforms. Don’t be associated with any questionable character.
“You are domiciled in Lagos and the state has its laws and edicts and you must respect it as an arm of government because obedience and good conduct are one of the attributes of a disciplined force. Also, be loyal to the nation, President Goodluck Jonathan and your families.”
At the end of his address, he was saluted with three hearty cheers by the soldiers, whose morale were charged the parade ground of the 65 Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Haruna Dasuki.