Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Sunday charged soldiers in the North-east to redouble their efforts and see the end of Boko Haram in order to reunite with their families in the barracks.
The COAS made the call at the interdenominational service jointly held by the Headquarters of Counter-insurgency operation in the North-east (Operation Lafiya Dole) and 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri to mark the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2019.
He said: “I urge you all officers and soldiers of Operation Lafiya Dole to remain focused and redouble your efforts in the war against terrorism and insurgency.”
Buratai, who was represented by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Benson Akinroluyo, said: “The NADCEL is an annual event which holds on July 6 every year. It is an occasion used as a platform for the Nigerian Army to reflect on our performance and celebrate our achievements, as well as highlight our operations as key instruments for national power, unity, integration and development.
“The Nigerian Army has been leveraging on the event to showcase our commitment as a professionally responsive force. On the other hand, the Combat Support and Arms Training (COSAT) is an important training activity which provides a platform for combat support arms to reappraise their performance in providing combat support to the Nigerian Army operations.”
He said NADCEL and COSAT 2019 will be held jointly this year and are designed to focus on the Nigerian Army’s commitment as a professional, responsive force in the discharge of its constitutional role.
Buratai said: “It will be recalled that the NADCEL 2018 afforded the participants and guests the opportunity to be embedded in the real time military operations code named Operation Last Hold. The benefits we derived from the exercise were quite enormous as it enables us to test virtually all aspects of our logistics and operational activities, as a fighting force.
“In the period of insecurity and insurgency, security is a collective responsibility and as soldiers, clerics and parents what shall we do? Clerics and parents should pray for us, while as soldiers we should rededicate ourselves and have the courage to fight.”
He urged the troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole to redouble their efforts and be courageous in the fight against insurgency, as victory is certainly theirs, noting that: “God is always with them. So finish this war and go back to your barracks.”
In his sermon, Rev. Haruna Godiva said: “What shall we do as congress, tax collector and as soldiers? We should know that what we do on earth is what we see in heaven. If we are not doubting heaven, we should also not doubt about hell.
“When soldiers asked John the Baptist what shall we do as a soldier, he replied them that you should not intimidate, you should not accuse people falsely and be contented with what you have, your salaries and allowances. If we do these, surely victory is ours.”
He therefore urged soldiers not to intimidate accused people falsely or take what does not belong to them, like collecting bribe and extorting money from motorists on the highways.