The Nigerian Army under the able leadership of the new Chief of Army Staff Lt General Yusuf Buratai is set to build a new face for the military anchored on the respect for the rules of engagement. This development arise as a result of allegation by Amnesty International that the Nigerian Military were guilty of War crimes against civilian populace in the North Eastern part of the country.
The chief of military-civil relations, Brigadier General Nicholas Rogers who made this disclosure during the maiden meeting with stake holders and civil societies in Yola yesterday, explained that, the measure was taken to address issues relating to human rights abuse, enhance intelligence gathering and cooperation with the civil populace to restore the image of Nigerian Military worldwide.
According to him, the measure was adopted by Nigerian military to curtail the trend by interacting with civilians in the north eastern states to improve confidence with a view to foster cordial relationship with the civil society.
“The military is for Nigerian people not a sacred cow organisation which is out to contribute its quota to the Nigerian project,” he stated Rogers who noted with dismay the deteriorating reputation of the Nigerian Army following reports of human rights violations, assured Nigerians that those issues will very soon become things of the past as the Nigerian Army under Buratai was poised to ensure that Nigerian troops operates with decorum and professionalism adding that very soon, the insurgency itself will be a thing of the past.
He noted that to achieve the new objective, a high calibre team from his office will arrive Yola in two weeks’ time and will go round various IDP camps to interact with the displaced persons and also commence de radicalisation process.
He therefore urged Nigerians not to hesitate in reporting any uncivilised behaviour by soldiers assuring that such reports will be treated with confidence adding that very soon a communication platform that will enable the citizens to report such cases will be unveiled.
“The Chief of Army Staff is ready to deal with anybody that does not respect constituted authorities,” he noted. While responding to a question over mistrust between various communities, Rogers noted that the military will remain in all liberated areas until peace and tranquillity is finally restored noting that the Federal government has began a process of setting up reconciliatory mechanisms between inhabitants of the affected areas for everlasting peace to prevail.
He noted that Nigerian Army does not have any sentiments in respect of Boko Haram insurgency, it is a complete criminal apparatus adding that some of the apprehended insurgents could not even read any part of the holy Quran.
-Tina Phineas, Yola