The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has urged troops prosecuting the counter-insurgency war in the North East to remain resolute in their determination to win the battle.
Specifically, Buratai, who spoke for the first time since he went into self-isolation following the death – from COVID-19 complications – of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj- Gen. John Irefin, warned the troops against showing signs of demoralisation over adverse reports by the Amnesty International (AI) and other groups.
The Army Chief’s position was conveyed in a statement by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Sagir Musa.
“The Nigerian Army’s attention has been drawn to a Press Release by the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday 12 December 2020, alleging that she has found a reasonable basis to believe that “members of the Nigerian Security Forces (“NSF”)” have committed acts constituting crimes against humanity and war crimes”, the statement said.
It noted that: “This was immediately followed by a release by the local branch of Amnesty International (AI) in Nigeria “demanding full investigation of atrocities by Nigerian forces.” “There is no doubt such statement and instigation can distract the Nigerian Army troops with its demoralising effects.
It will have negative consequences on troops’ morale, interest in military service by Nigerians and severe setback to all our internal security operations in the country.
However, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General TY Buratai, enjoins Nigerian Army troops to ignore the distractions and call on the gallant troops never to be worried or demoralized by these moves.
“The COAS who is currently in self-isolation as part of precaution against the COVID-19, would soon be joining our gallant troops in the North East at the end of the mandatory isolation period to continue giving the desired leadership and support to the gallant and patriotic troops of the Nigerian Army.”