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2023: Buhari urges army to remain apolitical, uphold human rights

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Nigerian Army to remain neutral and work towards the success of the 2023 general elections in the country.  He…

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Nigerian Army to remain neutral and work towards the success of the 2023 general elections in the country.

 He gave the directive while declaring open the Chief of Army Staff’s Annual Conference 2022 held in Sokoto with the theme, “Building a Professional Nigerian Army for 21st Century Security Environment,’’ on Monday.

 The president said it was imperative the armed forces support the civil authority by providing a peaceful environment to enable its successful conduct. 

He expressed delight that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Faruk Yahaya, had already issued a reviewed Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct to guide personnel during the general elections.

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 ‘‘The professionalism you exhibited in the successful conduct of the Anambra, Osun and Ekiti states elections should also be reflected in the 2023 General Elections,’’ he said.

 The president further enjoined the army to maintain professionalism and uphold all human rights obligations while discharging their constitutional duties.

 Buhari who was accompanied by the Minister of Defence, Major General Salihu Magashi (retd), and the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi, also tasked them to evolve enduring strategies that would consolidate their efforts in securing the country.

 He expressed confidence that the renewed vigour and standard injected in operations as well as the collective resolve and improved civil-military relations would engender lasting peace and stability in the country.

 The president pledged that special intervention would be made to fast track the activation of the Nigerian Army Aviation.

 He revealed that the acquisition of platforms for army aviation was considered in the 2023 Budget.

 In his remarks, Magashi commiserated with the families of security operatives that lost their lives in various operations across the country, adding that the nation was indebted to them for their contribution to national peace. 

 He assured that the welfare of their families would be accorded higher attention. 

 Also speaking, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal hoped that the outcome of the conference would impact positively on the military operations carried out in the country.

 The COAS explained that the conference is held at the end of every year to review their activities and also restrategise.

 The highlight of the activities was the presentation of Nigerian Army Recognition Awards to six prominent Nigerians such as the president of Dangote Groups, Aliko Dangote; Businessman Abdussamad Rabi’u, Tony Elumelu; Customs General, Col Hameed Ali (retd.); founder Zenith bank, Dr Jim Ovia; and former COAS, Lieutenant General Yusuf Buratai (retd).