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Insurgency war: Army chief expresses concern over setbacks

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai on Tuesday expressed concern over some recent developments in ongoing operations being conducted by the army, especially Operation Lafia Dole in the North East.

Buratai, who spoke while declaring open the 2nd and 3rd quarter combined Chief of Army Staff Conference in Abuja.

“But we must not relent in spite of those setbacks,’’ he said.

Buratai, therefore, implored all commanders to brace up to the challenges that come with leadership.

He said: “We should remember that the hallmark of a great leader is to turn setbacks to victories.

“We should all strive to make our impacts felt at this crucial time and not allow the hands of progress to be pulled down.

“I expect to see effective leadership at all levels of command which must permeate down the ladders.’’

According to him, in the military, good leadership remains a fundamental factor in achieving effective command and control at tactical, operational and strategic levels.

He said that it was, “therefore, highly desirable rather than essential for the Nigerian army training institutions to give leadership training the desired attention.

“You are all aware of the weak leadership by some junior commanders and its impact on the conduct of operations.

“I challenge all our training institutions to make deliberate efforts to change the tide,’’ the army chief said.

He, however, noted that ongoing operations in different parts of the country to tackle the Boko Haram terrorists, farmers/herdsmen clashes, armed banditry, cattle rustling and other crimes had recorded tremendous successes.

He said the successes must be sustained and consolidated, assuring that the Nigerian army would continue to remain steadfast in the discharge of its responsibilities and providing aid to civil authority.

Remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists group had in the last two weeks attacked army locations at Damasak and Gudumbali all in Borno North.

The attacks were interpreted in some quarters as resurgence of the insurgency.

However, Buratai disputed the claim, saying that they did not signal so but occurred as the noose was being tightened against the terrorists and their logistics bases.

The Operation Last Hold, designed to finally degrade the insurgents in Borno North and Lake Chad Basin, and facilitate the return of Internally Displaced Persons to their ancestral homes is ongoing in those areas.

The quarterly conference is held to appraise developing security situations with a view to fashioning ways to deal with them to ensure peace for national development.