By Sumaila Ogbaje
Maiduguri, Oct. 6, 2020 The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Baratai, has commended the officers and men of Nigerian Army for the display of professionalism during the Sept. 19 governorship election in Edo.
Buratai gave the commendation at the opening of the Chief of Army Staff’s combined first, second and third Quarters conference on Tuesday in Maiduguri.
He said that the performance of officers and men of the Nigerian army during the election was adjudged satisfactory and highly commended by all sections of the society.
Buratai said their conduct was in tune with his strategic directive for 2020 which is ‘’To Sustain the Professionalism and Responsiveness of the Nigerian Army in the Discharge of its Constitutional Roles’’.
He said he was happy that his directive on professional conduct was permeating through the ranks as was evident during the recent conduct of Operation Safe Conduct in Edo State.
“On this note, I want to congratulate the GOC, officers and men of the 2 Division Nigerian Army for their professional conduct during the Edo State election.
“This is the standard that must be upheld always and I expect nothing less in the coming Ondo State governorship election on the 10th of October.
“We must continue to chart progressive paths towards tackling the security challenges confronting the nation,’’ he said.
Buratai also stated that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on the activities of Nigerian army, adding that it was however, able to quickly adjust with minimal disruptions of its operations.
He said the pandemic was also responsible for his inability to host the conference in the first and second quarters hence the need to combine the three quarters.
According to him, this combined conference will enable us to appraise the level of implementation of the Nigerian army focus for the year 2020 and the year 2020 training directive.
“The conference will also afford the opportunity to hold discussions on current operational, administrative and logistics matters as well as other security issues that are crucial to the sovereignty of our dear country.
“It is quite evident that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the implementation of Nigerian Army forecast of events for 2020 and by extension my training directives for the year.
“However, it afforded us the opportunity to test some of our concepts and plans accordingly,’’ he said.
Buratai disclosed that the Nigerian army provided supports to the civil authorities in managing the pandemic in compliance with the request by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He added that he also directed the activation of Operation Second Eleven to forestall any break down of law and order across the country.
“Also, our medical personnel were trained as part of the national effort at containing the pandemic and some Nigerian army medical facilities were designated as isolation centres.
“Various personal protective equipment were also procured and distributed to all formations and units including the various theatres of operations.
“The low incidence of COVID-19 outbreak among troops and in army barracks is a testament to the effectiveness of the proactive steps that we took at the onset of the pandemic.
“However, I am sure that we will have course during the conference to review our actions with a view to identifying strategies for addressing similar challenges in the future,’’ he said.
The Chief of Policy and Plans, Army, Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, said the COAS’ strategic directive for 2020 had enabled the Nigerian Army to play critical role in the management of COVID-19 pandemic.
Adeosun said the full application of the directive by the commanders in various operations across the country had further endeared the Nigerian Army to the citizenry and made it a pride of the nation.
“This conference is therefore an opportunity for us to appraise our activities in the first, second and third quarters of the year and refine strategies toward impending operations and activities in the fourth quarter.
“I enjoy you all to raise issue and points that would address our operational and administrative challenges and also lead to informed decisions that will enhance the performance of NA in the discharge of its constitutional duties,’’ he said.