Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has charged Nigerian Army troops to remain loyal, disciplined and dedicated in order to ensure elimination of all forms of criminality in the country.
Lagbaja gave the charge on Tuesday in Enugu while addressing troops during his operational visit to the Headquarters of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army.
He cautioned troops not to be swayed by fabricated social media lies and misinformation, adding: “You should not allow dissident/criminal groups to indoctrinate you to do wrong things and take wrong decisions.”
The COAS said that the Nigerian Army remained an embodiment of discipline, noting that it would not tolerate any soldier or officer flouting the constituted rule and law of their host community or state.
Lagbaja also said that the Army holds the welfare of its troops and their families to a very high esteem, adding that it had prompted the inauguration of various projects with the headquarters and the Abakpa Military Cantonment.
He noted that the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces was also working to ensure that the officers and soldiers’ welfare remained a top priority.
According to him, in line with my Command philosophy, one of the pillars which is sound administration; the Army High Command is poised to carry out massive renovations in our barracks nationwide.
“We are also addressing challenges that affect young families – we are talking about Command Secondary School, Command Primary School, water supply in our barracks, electricity and even the welfare of the families our departed colleagues.
“The President has taken it upon himself to address the backlog of severance.
“You must have heard it, over and over again, that he has approved the payment of the backlog of the group life assurance claim to the families of our departed colleagues that had been outstanding since 2011.
“So, he had approved N18.4 billion to clear that backlog. That will be done,” he said.
The COAS noted that the Army on its own had instituted Group Personnel Accident Insurance to cover the gap in the event that soldiers who are deployed on operations perhaps within Enugu or any other places have an accident.
“Then, the insurance company will pay claims. We are doing all these to cater for your welfare and wellbeing.
“However, as the saying goes, to whom much is given; much is expected. So, my charge to you is to remain loyal to the Constitution of Nigeria and the government of the day,” he said.
The army chief warned army personnel not to engage in illegal duties or get involved in civil matters that do not have any bearing or connection to their official duties, adding: “The Army is too busy to engage in frivolities.”
Highpoints of the COAS visit included the unveiling of the remodeled Headquarters 82 Division Office Complex and face lift of its major offices and visitor’s room.
The COAS also inaugurated renovated Block 12 and 13 accommodation for corporal below personnel and gave keys to its new occupants; did ground breaking of officers’ transit accommodation, and inaugurated the new Dragon Officers’ Mess, all in Abakpa Military Cantonment, Enugu.