2021 COAS conference: Buhari urges Army to remain apolitical, observe human rights

President Muhammadu Buhari has Monday urged personnel of the Nigerian Army to remain apolitical and observe human rights in the conducts of their operations across the country.

“While performing your constitutional roles, I urge you to remain apolitical and continue to operate within the principle of fundamental human rights and the principle of armed conflicts,” he said.

President Buhari who was represented by the Chief of Defence Staff General LEO Irabor stated this in Abuja at the opening of 2021 Chief of Army Staff annual conference with the theme:  “Building Nigerian Army Capacity in Combating Emerging Security Threats in a Joint Operations Environment.”  

The president also reiterated the determination of his administration to equip the army to deal with all security threats confronting the nation.

He said: “I have no doubt that the renewed emphasis on the high standard of training and discipline, adherence to military values, effective command and control, observance to the rule of law and excellent civil military relations will enable the Nigerian Army to function effectively to bring more glory to our father land. 

 “One of the key agenda of this administration is security. It is pertinent to note that for democracy to thrive and survive, there must be security of lives and property. Therefore, your role in securing the nation is paramount.

“In performing this role you require equipment training and motivation. As a government, we are doing all that is possible within the limits of available resources to equip the army and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria to performed its constitutional roles.

“In additional to indigenous efforts being embarked upon to build our military industrial complex, we are also into talk with friendly nations to equip you optimally for efficiency and effectiveness in various operations that you are undertaking. Some of the equipment and platforms procured are now being delivered while others will soon arrive within the shortest possible time frame.”

Earlier in his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.- Gen Faruk yahaya assured Nigerians of the commitment of the Army in defending Nigeria’s democracy and its territorial integrity.

He said: “It is therefore the Nigerian Army’s resolve to continue to discharge its constitutional roles toward ensuring peace and stability in every part of the country. I wish to assure Mr President and the good people of Nigeria that their Army is ever ready at all times to defend our democracy and the territorial integrity of our nation.

In fulfilment of this resolve, the Nigerian Army’s performance in the conduct of operations has been greatly sustained and improved based on efficient procurement and induction of military hard and software across the theatres of operations.

“In the recent past, a substantial number of military wares had been deployed especially for Joint TaskForce (JTF) North-east Operation HADIN KAI and JTF North-west Operation HADARIN DAJI to further enhance the tempo of our operations.”