A civil society group and anti-corruption organization, the Guild of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Equity, Justice and Transparency in Nigeria (GOCMEJ), an organization comprising of over 550 civil societies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), activists and bloggers in the country, has applauded and gives a path on the shoulder of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-General Farouk Yahaya, for his leadership strategic direction, foresight, re-invigoration and enhanced internal working mechanisms of the Nigerian Army like never before.
The organization asserted that the present Chief of Army Staff has inspired men and officers alike to professionally give allegiance, patriotism and loyalty to the country; inspite of the enormous challenges of the 21st century, which include terrorism, kidnapping, herdsmen/farmers clashes, oil pipeline vandalism, cultism, among others.
In a press release signed by the President of the Guild, Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele, and Secretary, Comrade James Okoronkwo, issued in Lagos Thursday, after appraisal of the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria combating terrorism and asymmetrical warfare, against insurgents, the Guild praised the gallantry displayed by the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lt-General Farouk Yahaya.
It also commended the high approval rating of professionalism, rule of law, welfare, training provisions of officers, military strategy adopted against insurgency and the institutional capacity development currently taking place in the Nigerian Army which has drawn a global appraise from the international community.
According to the release, the change management and paradigm shift being witnessed today is as a result of the ferocity, dismantling and decimating of the Boko Haram insurgents by the Farouk leadership, vision and mission statement to make Nigeria safe and secure, while adhering to the rules of engagements and international best practices.
It is visible that human capital development has become a front burner of the Nigerian Army’s cardinal focus as training and retraining have become the order of the day, while officers and men go on courses even beyond Nigerian shores, to enhance their capacity.
The Chief of Army Staff has also changed the narrative in improved conditions of work, office environment, welfare policies, and rehabilitation of the barracks across the country; the acquisition of military accoutrements and the rebranding of the image of the Nigerian Army.
The Guild also took cognizance of the recent new set of Command structures put in place, battalions, brigades and departments established to keep up with the latest development across the globe and cyber-security and training in asymmetrical warfare of the military.
This set of new initiative is today responsible for the smooth running and civil-military relationship enjoyed by Nigerians today, which translates to respect for human rights and other standards of engagement entrenched in the Nigerian Army towards its various publics.
The Guild asserted that it is noteworthy that the high morale and esprit-de-corps enjoyed by the officers and men of the Nigerian Army is unrivalled. The vision of the COAS in preaching peace, professionalism and submission to democratic ethos, the Guild noted, “is now the agenda on every soldier’s heart and that’s why the Nigerian Army is doing all it can to ‘weed out’ disloyal and political officers who are determined to derail the plans of the military hierarchy.”
GOCMEJ whole-heartedly supports the COAS in ‘flushing out’ soldiers that have divided loyalty, whose main sources of income are questionable and who are not loyal to the military established rules and guidelines.
The Guild further observed that the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army is determined to enhance the welfare of the soldiers, “which is very important to the COAS’s blueprint in the promotion of rank and file, the posting and those at the war-front is also a major concern to the leadership, compensating the families left behind by soldiers who lost their lives in battle front to safeguard and protect the nation.
GOCMEJ notes that, under the new leadership and pragmatic disposition of the COAS, funds meant for procurement, feeding, medicines, payment of allowances for soldiers have been judiciously administered and disbursed.
This, according to the Guild, has gone a long way in securing of the territorial integrity of the nation and on issues of national unity and peaceful co-existence.
“The routine exercise carried out across the country has made the army determined in carrying out its constitutional role of defending the nation, which has been applauded by Nigerians far and wide for its efforts in enhancing the military-civil relationship.
”Nigerians have also commended the strategic foresight and direction entrenched by the COAS in the code of conduct of its operations, as well as providing security architecture, especially in ensuring an enabling and secure environment to promote peaceful electoral processes, including charging personnel to remain apolitical while carrying out their constitutional roles.
GOCMEJ therefore calls on well-meaning Nigerians to support and cooperate with the Nigerian Army in the discharge of its assigned responsibility of safeguarding and protecting the territorial integrity of the nation by assisting them with security intelligence, so as to nib in the bud the issues once and for all.
The Guild further noted that “it is in view of the foregoing that we commend the COAS for his new narrative and paradigm shift, including his patriotic efforts in combating insurgency with laid down rules of engagement at this critical time of Nigeria’s history and pledging our solidarity always with the lives lost by our patriotic officers and men, during military operations across the country.”