War against Terrorists: ACF Scribe Asks Buratai to Strengthen Capacity of Troops

Muhammadu Buhari

John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani, has charged the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to strengthen the capacity of the troops fighting Boko Haram terrorists.

Reacting to Buratai’s recent statements to the effect that lack of commitment by troops was responsible for the frequent attacks by the terrorists, Sani noted that as the man on the helms of affairs, the army chief should know why soldiers are not committed to the fight against the terrorists.

Buratai was quoted to have said the rising terrorist attacks were due to lack of willingness by troops to perform assigned tasks.

“It is unfortunate, but the truth is that almost every setback the Nigerian Army has had in our operations in recent times can be traced to insufficient willingness to perform assigned tasks or simply insufficient commitment to a common national and military cause by those on the frontlines,” the army chief was quoted to have said while speaking last Tuesday at the opening of a five-day leadership workshop for mid-level officers and soldiers in Abuja.

But in a telephone interview in Kaduna yesterday, Sani said as the helmsman of the Nigerian Army, Buratai should be in a position to know the reasons behind the apathy among troops, and strengthen their capacity.

According to him, “I actually read the reports credited to the COAS to the effect that troops’ apathy is affecting operations in the front lines of the fight against the insurgents.

“As the helmsman of the military, General Burutai knows that to impel progress in the war against the insurgents, he is the one expected to multiply his strength through the troops on the front lines, and that motivation is his instrument while social skill is the requirement.”

Sani noted that Buratai’s comments are quite worrisome and a call for concern, saying: “For the Chief of Army Staff to raise this kind of observation that the troops lack commitment and willingness to prosecute the campaigns against the insurgence is therefore a source of concern.

“One would have expected the COAS to study the underlying causes stoking the troops’ apathy with the view to addressing them.

“Is the observed lack of commitment due to low moral arising from dearth of logistics and welfare or does it have to do with lack of patriotism on the part of the troops, or due to failure of leadership in the military hierarchy?”

Sani added: “Knowing the underlying causes of the perceived apathy will go a long way in removing the challenges and spawn a well-motivated and ready troops needed to put an end to the unsavory activities of the sects.”