The Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday, made his first public comment on the killing of three policemen and a civilian by soldiers attached to Ibi Unit in Taraba State, saying there was a need for the reorientation of the “junior cadre” in the military.
The army chief, who spoke in Abuja at the Second and Third Quarter Conference with General Officers Commanding, top commanders and principal officers, said the army had concluded its investigation into the Taraba incident and decisive actions would be.
Buratai ordered the commanders at all levels to educate soldiers on the need to adhere to the rules of engagement at all times, so as to avoid a repeat of the Taraba incident.
He said, “We should all note that the army, as part of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, is mandated to support the civil authorities and the Nigeria Police Force in internal security operations. “However, recent occurrences have shown that there is a need for more reorientation on civil-military relations and inter-service cooperation at the junior cadre levels.
“Unfortunately, incidents such as the recent one at Ibi in Taraba State, which generated intense comments, are not healthy for the smooth cooperation and operation of our security forces. I hereby charge commanders at all levels to continue to educate personnel on the need to adhere to the rules of engagement at all times.
“They should respect all extant laws and the fundamental human rights of citizens as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended. In this regard, efforts will be stepped up to ensure better relations between the Nigerian Army and sister security agencies while improved civil-military relations would be enhanced.”
Buratai also condemned the recent case of the alleged rape of a lady by a soldier and the shooting of a motorcyclist by another soldier in Abia.
“These are examples of events that must be guarded against. The army will not condone any form of indiscipline or actions that will tarnish its good image,” he said.
Yans earlier reported that a top military source had confided in newsmen that the Nigerian Army is concluding arrangements for soldiers indicted over the killings to be moved to 3 Division headquarters, Jos, Plateau State, for a possible general court-martial.