The Chief Of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja has on Wednesday reassured the soldiers of his commitment in addressing all their challenges towards ensuring more effective and responsive service to the country.
The Chief Of Army Staff also noted that the present government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is well committed to the welfare of the personnel of the Nigerian Army, thereby charging the soldiers that to much is given, much is expected.
Lt. General Lagbaja made the disclosure while addressing the troops during the familiarization tour to the 2 Division Command, Nigerian Army, Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment Ojoo Ibadan.
The Chief Of Army Staff who was received by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 2 Division, Major General Bamidele Alabi and some other top officers of the command maintained that the Nigerian Army is being transformed to meet the yearnings of Nigerians through effective and responsive service.
While addressing the soldiers at the 2 Div Garrison Command Parade, the Chief Of Army Staff said, “I have taken notes of all your challenges, such as the shortages of personal protective equipments, uniforms, support weapons and the likes, I have taken note of all these challenges and we would address them going forward. The Army is being transformed and this you can attest with the renovation of your living accomodations and other critical infrastructures.”
The COAS further said, “However, we have limited financial resources to apply to this but we will take it phases, so if the renovation have not reach the corner of barrack where you live, be rest assured that we would surely get there and for your other challenges we would also address them, the government is doing a lot to address the challenges that confront us as Nigerian Army personnel, the issue of the group life assurance that have been long drawn is receiving due attention of the Mr President, he has given the approval to clear the backlog for our departed colleagues to have their families left behind paid what is their entitlement in terms of group life assurance, and for all other entitlements.”
“The government is doing the similar thing and the army is being transformed not in terms of accomodations but also in terms of force structure and that, as a result of this the Nigerian Army aviation will soon be operationalize with the arrival of our MD53 Qayus Helicopter, these and many more are the intervention the Nigerian Army is receiving from the government and if this government is doing this much. You as discipline and professional force must reciprocate and what I want you to do is to remain loyal and continue to be dedicated to your constitutional responsibility, our job as a military men is to be loyal to the constitution and the government of the day, so continue to be loyal and continue to be dedicated.”
“Yesterday I flagged off our end of the year exercises, which are Exercise Still Water 3, Enduring Peace 3 and Golden Dawn, these exercises are expected to run from now up to 5th of January next year, you will be deployed to conduct real time operations acting on intelligent to neutralize bandit camp, to burst drug cartels and to act in concert with other security agencies to ensure that peace and stability is maintained in your area of responsibility. In the conduct of these exercises you must act in line with the rules of engagement and your code of conduct, don’t go out of what is specify in the book to become people that will grab lands for criminal groups, or don’t go and get engaged with drug cartels in smuggling drugs or other contrabands, be guided by the rules of engagement.”
“Since my assumption as the Chief of Army Staff I have crafted my command philosophy and have highlighted three beams upon which my philosophy rest and that is leadership, operational effectiveness and sound administration so having this at the back of your mind, I’m guided to address all your challenges and that is why I’m looking at the issue of group life assurance, we are not forgetting the sponsorship of the children of the deceased personnel.
“We have completed with the implementation of the welfare flight for your colleagues that deployed to operation Hadin Khai, and even the Nigerian Army accident insurance is being implemented to the later and the beneficiaries are receiving the checks from the insurance company, so the Army are moving forward, we expect that you will not be left behind in this transformation of Nigerian Army, so gear up, be more dedicated and be ready to provide quality service to the citizens of Nigeria.” COAS said.
While answering questions from the pressmen on the importance of his familiarization tour to the 2 Division, Lt. General Lagbaja said, “This visit is key because of the fact that on 19th of June this Year’s, the President appointed me as the 23rd Chief of Army Staff and I took over Command on the 23rd of June and it is key that I go round and access the state of the Army that has been committed into my hands in terms of infrastructure, equipment and the state of the personnel and that is what have been doing since my assumption into office.
“The GOC here has espoused the challenges confronting the Division and I can say we are not yet there, we are army that is being transformed and have taken note of all the challenges and we would address them to make the army more effective and more responsive to the yearning of Nigerians.
He further said, “I have gone to the North East theater two times and have gone to the North West theater, have gone to some other formations and units of the Nigeria Army and today it is the turn of 2 Division, three days ago I was at the 81 Division in Lagos, so today, it is the turn of the 2 Division and the whole essence is to come so that the soldiers will have a talk with the Chief of Army Staff one on one, they can talk to me freely, I can drive round the barrack and see the state of our infrastructure, the state of our equipments and then think forward and take appropriate action to address the challenges that comes as a result of this.”
While speaking about his philosophy of command, the Chief Of Army Staff said,
“My philosophy of command so crafted is to transform the Nigerian Army into well trained, equipped and highly motivated force towards achieving our constitutional responsibility and this philosophy of command I envisaged that it will rest on three beams of leadership, operational effectiveness and sound administration, these are pillars that will drive the soldiers to give the best to the nation.
“If they have effective leadership, the leadership that listen and care, then they will be motivated to give out their very best, the soldiers will not even care to go in harms way and get killed in the process of conducting operations for securing lives and property, as for sound administration we are looking at accomodations, we are looking at welfare of troops and even the welfare of the spouses of personnel that get killed in process of serving the nation.”
“We are looking at our schools, we are looking at our medic care, and these are also key in motivating the soldiers to do their best, so the philosophy of command that have crafted are not just in words they’re meant to be translated into action and that is why at every opportunity I speak it to the troops so that they can understand the thinking of the leadership and be able to translate into the action in the field.”
Some other activities of the Chief Of Army Staff at the 2 Division during his tour include planting of tree at the 4 Div Training School, inspection of guards, Commissioning of the Central Ordinance Deport Motor Transport and Technical Building among others.