Allow Willing Bandits to Surrender, DHQ Tells Govts

Allow Willing Bandits to Surrender, DHQ Tells Govts

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday called on governments at all levels to allow armed bandits willing to surrender to do so.

The call came as the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, ordered troops to sustain tempo of operations to clear terror enclaves.

He also directed commanders to show leadership by example.

A statement issued by Director Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen Tukur Gusau, said the security advice followed a video clip in circulation across the social media handles of some soldiers engaging with bandits somewhere in Katsina State.

It said the DHQ has launched an investigation of the video to confirm its authenticity as regards the soldiers seen in uniform.

“The DHQ is aware of the resolve of some bandits to repent and hand over their weapons to the authority. This is yielding good results  and is ongoing.

“The DHQ assures Nigerians that its non-kinetic measures aimed at restoration of peace is yielding results with several bandits and other criminal elements surrendering  to authority.

“Governments at all levels are encouraged to allow bandits  genuinely willing to surrender to do so while the window is still open,” it said.

The statement said: “Defence Headquarters is doing everything possible to restore peace and tranquility all over the country and urge all citizens to remain calm and be law abiding.”

It said the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Christopher Musa, assured Nigerians that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) will engage in every lawful means possible to ensure peace and stability reign in the country.

“The DHQ assures Nigerians that it’s non-kinetic measures aimed at restoration of peace is yielding results, with several bandits and other criminal elements surrendering  to authority,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Lagbaja has ordered troops to sustain tempo of operations to clear terror enclaves.

He enjoined them to sustain the tempo of the ongoing operations to completely clear the insurgents from their hideouts.

He also directed commanders to show leadership by example.

Gen Lagbaja gave the charge while delivering a lecture titled, “Crafting My Command Philosophy As Chief of Army Staff Nigerian Army Within Nigeria’s Contemporary And Emerging Security Environment”, to students of Senior Course 46, at the  Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna. 

Speaking further, the army chief described leadership by example, as the most reliable  leadership style, where the leader models the behavior he wants to see in his team members.

“When you lead by example, you do not just push team members towards excellence, rather, you actively demonstrate that excellence.

“My command philosophy is thus a commitment that I will not ask any of my commanders or principal staff officers, or anyone for that matter, to do what I am unwilling or unable to do personally. I equally do not expect my commanders to ask their subordinates to do anything that they are not willing or unable to do”, he posited.

The COAS expatiated further that his expectation was that commanders at all levels lead by example and propagate such a healthy culture across the Nigerian Army.

Gen Lagbaja maintained that exemplary leadership will correspondingly impact positively on operational efficiency in the ongoing effort at tackling insecurity.

He noted that under his watch as the COAS, no stone will be left unturned to ensure that the Nigerian Army remained operationally effective in all its endeavours.

The Commandant of the College, Air Vice Marshall Hassan Alhaji, while speaking at the end of the lecture, expressed appreciation to the COAS for practically taking the lead by delivering the lecture in person and sharing his thoughts to guide the officers on the direction he is taking the Nigerian Army.

He urged the officers to imbibe the leadership qualities espoused by the COAS to sharpen their command capabilities and effectively deliver on assigned tasks.

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