President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed the immediate payment of all Group Life Assurance benefits owed families of departed officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army who paid the supreme price in battles to safeguard the country from terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, who disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the Chief of Army Staff Combined Second and Third Quarter conference 2003 in Abuja yesterday, also announced that troops of the Nigerian Army, in the conduct of Operation Udoka in the South East, in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders, have put an end to the infamous sit-at-home order of IPOB/ESN that almost crippled socio-economic activities in the region.
He added that law-abiding citizens of the region now go about their businesses without molestation.
Addressing principal staff officers, force commanders of MNJTF, Hadin Kai, GOCs and corps commanders, Gen Lagbaja said: “As you are aware, all military operations come at a cost, the quantum of which cannot be accurately determined before they are incurred.
“To this end, it is an open secret that we have sometimes suffered painful setbacks and have paid for our successes in blood and treasures.
“However, I am glad to observe that we have remained resolute in our drive to deny all criminal elements in our society respite, as their dastardly acts have only strengthened our resolve to intensify our onslaught against them.
“In a bid to further enhance our operational effects, the Nigerian Army has established some special forces units, using specially trained personnel to tackle various criminalities across the country.
“The special forces units have continued to record impressive performances through intelligence-led operations and the use of special equipment.
“As we continue to procure and induct more sophisticated platforms and equipment into the various theatres as force multipliers, I charge field commanders to ensure the maintenance of these platforms and equipment to prolong their life span and enable the nation optimize its investment.
“To align with the directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that the armed forces and other security agencies should decisively deal with all security challenges facing the country, we must continue to conduct ourselves in a manner that reflects us as a committed force.
“In line with this, I conceived my command philosophy to ‘transform the Nigerian Army into a well-trained force, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment.’
“This philosophy will guide and drive our actions and engagements as I lead the Nigerian Army into becoming a force ready to operate and respond to any form of threat in any domain and spectrum, within and outside the boundaries of Nigeria through joint efforts.
“It is heart-warming to note that our activities in Operation Hadin Kai in the North East have effectively curtailed Boko Haram and other terrorist activities in the region.
“Overall, our efforts have resulted in the large-scale surrender of members of the terrorist groups and the submission of a large cache of arms and ammunition.
“The good people of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states are steadily picking up their livelihood as the military, in collaboration with the government, is helping to restore governance to the hitherto deprived areas.
“The operational activities of our troops in Operation Hadarin Daji and Operation Whirl Punch have also greatly checkmated banditry and insurgency in the North West and North Central regions of the country.
“We have equally heightened our efforts in containing criminalities perpetrated in the South East by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Eastern Security Network, ESN.
“Through Operation Udoka, our troops have, in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders, put an end to the infamous sit-at-home order that has almost crippled socio-economic activities in the region. Law-abiding citizens of the region now go about their businesses and everyday life.
“Similarly, our joint efforts with various government agencies have quelled attempts by criminals to disrupt economic activities in the South West.
“Our troops’ upscaled anti-illegal oil bunkering operations in Operation Delta Safe in the South-South have also yielded tremendous outcomes.
“Although we are not there yet in terms of the level of success we hope to achieve in our anti-illegal bunkering operations; there is no denying the fact that we have seen appreciable improvement in the country’s daily crude production.
“I am also aware of the critical role of sound administration and troops’ welfare in our operations. To this end, troops’ welfare and that of their families will remain predominant in all our efforts. I intend to consolidate all existing welfare arrangements to enhance the wellbeing of our troops and their families, as this will keep them focused on their tasks.
“In addition to providing befitting living quarters for our personnel, we shall ensure the newly introduced ‘Affordable Home Ownership Option for All Soldiers Scheme’, designed to provide affordable and high- quality post-service homes for our soldiers.
“We shall also ensure that our injured warriors get the best medical care and continue to support the widows and next-of-kins of our fallen heroes.”
Lagbaja noted that the COAS quarterly conferences were designed to provide a veritable platform to review the conduct of the Nigerian Army’s administrative, training, logistics, and operational activities and other key issues relating to the service within a quarter.
“Because circumstances made it impracticable to hold the second and third quarters conferences separately, and the Year 2023 has been full of significant occurrences at the national and the international scenes, you will agree with me that we have a busy programme ahead.
“It is worth noting that since the majority of us were part of the previous administration and held critical appointments, we were undoubtedly part of its decision-making hierarchy. We are thus eminently qualified to effectively assess the level of implementation of decisions taken during the first quarter conference 2023.
“This is with a view to refining some of our strategies to be in tune with the fast-changing security and strategic environments.
Therefore, I urge everyone to optimize the few days we have for this conference to brainstorm and holistically review our operations and related activities across the country and internationally.
‘Consequently, it is with all sense of humility that I wish to express the Nigerian Army’s gratitude, once again, to the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for directing that all pending Group Life Assurance payment owed families of our departed warriors be paid without delay,” the Army chief said. (Vanguard)