• R Buratai bemoans lack of creativity, innovation in the army
Paul Obi in Abuja
The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Monday debunked claims that the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) was culpable in the deaths of an army officer and eight other soldiers in last week’s attack in Yobe State.

There were reports of a possible mishandling of the attacks by NAF, which inadvertently gave way for the attack by the Boko Haram terrorists.

The Director of Defence Information, Major General John Enenche, said: “The attention of the Defence Headquarters has been drawn to a falsehood published in some online media that the inaction of Nigerian Air Force caused untimely death of an army officer and eight soldiers, in Yobe Boko Haram attack.

“The ill-motivated news against the Nigerian Air Force in particular and the military in general should be disregarded by the public as it lacks merit.

“It should be recalled that the NAF conducted Operation Runwan Wuta 1 in September this year in support of the Nigerian Army, which recorded massive successes in further eliminating remnants of Boko Haram Terrorists in the North-east.”

Enenche argued that “as a result, the Air Force re-strategised and embarked on operation runway Wuta II which is ongoing alongside clearance operations with the Nigerian Army, all under Operation Lafiya Dole.
“Hence, it is not possible for the NFA to refuse to provide air cover to the Nigerian Army at this moment of its peak air activity.

“The Nigeria Army, Navy and Air Force have always been operating jointly and equally synergized in their common spheres of influence to bring the necessary force to bear, on all targets in operations and battle field,” Enenche stated.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt General Tukur Buratai, has expressed concern over the absence of creativity and innovation as military engagements increased across the country amidst dwindling resources.

General Buratai made the remarks while declaring open a two-day workshop for General Officers’ Commanding (GOC), Corps Commanders, and Commandant of Nigerian Army Schools with the theme ‘Leadership and Resource Management in the Nigerian Army’ at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) Abuja
He maintained that given this gap, it was incumbent on officers to take pro-active measures to address the gap.
“Against this backdrop, we have no option than to get thinking as to how we can achieve our goals despite the national economic recession we are experiencing.”

He stressed that with this development it has become pertinent for Commanding Officers, Commandant of Military Training Institutions and other Principal Officers to go through capacity building mechanism to become creative, innovative and resourceful.
Represented by the Commandant of Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Major General Rasheed Yusuf, the Army Chief said: “despite the success we have recorded, I have observed that there is a gap in the level of creativity, innovation and resourcefulness among commanders.

“More so, we are operating in a time of national economic recession whereby there is paucity of fund due to dwindling budgetary allocation. Conversely, the nation’s security challenges are increasing by the day thereby widening our operational engagements across the country.
“Against this backdrop, we have no option than to get thinking as to how we can achieve our goals despite the national economic recession we are experiencing.

“Thus the imperative of reorienting and sensitising commanders and leaders on the need to be creative , innovative and resourceful in the discharge of their command responsibilities.”
Director General of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre,(NARC) Major General John Hamakin lauded the COAS for approving the workshop in line with the vision of the present leadership of the army to build a truly professional force capable of responding to the security issues effectively and efficiently.

Major General Hamakin said: “It is pertinent to state that this workshop was conceptualised in line with COAS directive, which was borne out of the fact that despite the successes we have recorded in our various operational engagements particularly in the Northeast, there seems to be an apparent gap in the level of creativity, innovation and resourcefulness amongst commanders in the military and other security agencies.

“This concern became more pertinent given the realities of the economic down-turn we are facing with the attendant implication on shrinking of resources being allocated to the military and other key stakeholders in the security architecture.
“This reality therefore calls for creativity, innovation and resourcefulness on the part of military leadership in various field of command if we are to succeed,” General Hamakin stated.