Unknown Gunmen: Chief of Army Staff Reaffirms Commitment to Protect Citizens Against Terrorism

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, has asserted that the Nigerian Army (NA) will continue to respond forcefully to protect law-abiding citizens from terrorism, insurgency, and other forms of criminality. This statement was made during a brief interview with the press after he declared the closure of a five-day Commanding Officers’ Workshop held at Port Harcourt Barracks in the Rivers State capital.

The workshop, themed “Enhancing Tactical Level Command and Leadership within a Joint Environment,” aimed to equip commanding officers with the necessary skills and competencies to enhance their performance in an increasingly complex security environment. General Lagbaja emphasized that the NA will continue to address all security threats in line with constitutional stipulations, codes of conduct, and rules of engagement to ensure the safety of innocent Nigerians.

“The Nigerian Army, under my watch, will remain resolute in protecting citizens from threats,” Lagbaja stated. “Commanding officers are crucial in implementing my command philosophy of transforming the NA into a well-trained, equipped, and highly motivated force capable of fulfilling our constitutional responsibilities within a joint environment.”

The COAS highlighted the importance of training commanding officers to understand their contemporary command environment, which includes technological advancements, the influence of social media, high population rates, and associated unemployment issues. He stressed that no investment in such training is too much, as it is essential for effectively managing security imperatives.

Lagbaja urged commanding officers to stay attuned to their operating environments, develop realistic visions despite organizational differences, and cultivate synergy across all security stakeholders. He emphasized the significant impact of social media on command and the need to avoid its negative influences. He also encouraged officers to understand the characteristics of the new generation entering the NA and to administer them according to established policies and regulations.

“The impact of social media on your command is enormous, and you must avoid the negative influence of this new reality,” he advised. “Stay abreast with technological developments, utilize available resources, and strengthen ICT training in your units.”

The COAS also charged officers to implement the 2024 Training Directive and focus on realistic training, which he views as a key measure of effectiveness. He commended Major General Sani Mohammed, Chief of Training (Army), for initiating the workshop, and Major General Jamal Abdussalam, GOC of 6 Division, for his support in planning and hosting the event.

During his visit, General Lagbaja commissioned various projects initiated by the GOC, 6 Division. These included a block of 10 family flats for Corporal Below Quarters, the 6 Division Python Shopping Mall, and a 1.4-kilometer road linking the 26 Support Engineer Regiment Headquarters. He also laid the foundation for a block of six flats for officers’ transit accommodation and concluded his tour with tree planting and inspection of ongoing projects at Port Harcourt Barracks.

Major General Onyema Nwachukwu
Director Army Public Relations

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