BusinessDay

Hope for Nigeria’s war on terror as service chiefs unveil agenda

Nigeria could be heading to victory in its war against terrorism and general insecurity with the agenda of the new service chiefs centring on having repositioned and motivated armed forces that can professionally defeat adversaries.

One of the major cogs in the wheel of Nigeria’s war against terrorism and insecurity has been lack of motivation on the part of the fighting troops as evident in the rising number of officers and men who absconded from the battlefield with some of them narrating their ordeals through viral videos.

However, the new service chiefs on Wednesday pledged their commitment to troops’ welfare and reorientation.

The service chiefs, comprising the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of the Naval Staff, Auwal Gambo; and Chief of Air Staff, Ishiaka Amao, made this pledge while unveiling their agenda for the armed forces when they appeared before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee screening them in Abuja.

Opening the floor, Chief of Defence Staff Irabor assured that if confirmed, he will ensure effective collaboration of the Armed Forces that are capable of fulfilling their constitutional mandate of protecting Nigeria’s territorial integrity and enhancing internal security.

“By so doing, I intend to have some pillars that are allied to this broad focus of leadership. This may not come out as a vision because I believe that visions are meant for institutions and not individuals,” Irabor said.

“As a military commander, I intend to have leadership focus in outlining the broad areas, to this, I intend to build a very professional armed forces that is effective, agile, result oriented and of course, one that is loyal to constituted authority,” he said.

On his part, Chief of Army Staff Attahiru said he would ensure that the Nigerian Army is re-positioned to professionally defeat adversaries through integrated approach that would involve every Nigerian in providing adequate security for the country.

“Emphasis would be particularly on role of government and role of society approach, where each and every Nigerian would be part of the security architecture to bring an end to our current problems.

“The vision is embedded in the command philosophy, built on specific pillars such as readiness, duty to country, dependability and continuous leadership development. For particular emphasis, mission readiness, training, functional manning and equipment, loyalty and sacrifice to fatherland and continuous leadership development. We will build an Army that will be innovative in the 21st century,” Attahiru said.

Also speaking, Chief of Naval Staff Gambo emphasized the need for loyalty, cooperation, commitment, knowledge and skills of all officers, ratings and civilian staff of the Nigerian Navy, which would be optimally harnessed for the task of securing the country.

“If confirmed as Chief of the Naval Staff, I intend to leverage on all factors of national location, technology, training, teamwork and synergy to re-energize the Nigerian Navy and enhance her as a well-motivated and ready to discharge her constitutional mandate and other tasks in fulfillment of the national security objectives,” he said.

Chief of Air Staff Amao pledged to focus on enhancing and sustaining the critical air component support needed in the task of national security through fostering a disciplined workforce that is combat-ready.

The Air Chief said he would focus on doctrinal development and joint military operations, pursue purposeful training and human capacity development, as well as ensure that weapons and equipment serviceability are sustained through elevating maintenance methods and logistic support system.

In his remarks, the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, who accompanied the service chiefs to the screening, expressed confidence in the ability of the nominees to make Nigerians proud in the onslaught against terrorism and other forms of insecurity.

“I have no doubt that those nominated by Mr. President will no doubt make this country very proud. I hope the House will recognize the importance of their assignment. Today, we had a setback somewhere and as soon as we finish from here, the appropriate service chief will take care of that. I want to assure you that we will deliver on the expectations of Nigerians,” the minister said.

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