The Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd), on Monday, warned officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to shun all forms of politics and stay committed to their core mandate of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
Magashi, who spoke at the 2021 Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference in Abuja, maintained that the military must be “apolitical and non-tribal as a professional force”, adding that there was a need for collaboration among the Services, especially in all ongoing military operations.
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”It is pertinent to emphasize here on the need for the Armed Forces to remain professional in carrying out its constitutional roles.
“Remember that this was the oath you swore on joining the military.
“Accordingly, you all must shun every form of politicking in the conduct of your responsibilities and in the aid to civil authorities.
“Let me boldly state that the military has been the unifying factor of our nation since our independence and it must continue to be apolitical and non-tribal as a professional force,” he said.
According to him, one major concern of the Ministry of Defence is the drive to achieve jointness and unity of efforts among the three Services especially in the conduct of various ongoing operations within the country.
The minister added, ”I must commend the Chief of Defence Staff and the Service Chiefs for putting in place measures to achieve this.
“However, more synergy is still required to ensure that all operations on the ground reflect that joint-ness in all ramifications for greater successes”.
The Minister noted that due to the doggedness of the officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces and the Nigerian Army, in particular, peace is gradually being restored to all the troubled areas in the country.
He continued, ”I, therefore, want to implore you all to continue decimating the bandits, terrorists and insurgents within our country.
“It is imperative to state that the activities of Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province are being curtailed to the barest minimum in adherence to the Commander-in-Chief’s directives.
“I am confident in the capability of our Armed Forces to decimate these terrorists and this must be achieved soonest”.
On his part, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, assured that the Nigerian Army is “ever ready at all times to defend our democracy and the territorial integrity of our nation”, stressing that, “in fulfilment of this resolve, the Nigerian Army’s performance in the conduct of operations have been greatly sustained and improved.