By Kingsley Omonobi
Abuja—Army authorities have told soldiers that they have licence to kill criminals and not to be killed by criminals.
Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, spoke, yesterday, in Kastina, Kastina State during the COAS tour of the volatile Northwest region and other trouble areas of Zamfara and Katsina states.
Represented by Chief of Training and Operations (Army), Major General Lamidi Adeosun, the COAS advised the personnel of 8 Division to be professional in their conduct, saying: “As professionals, you are constitutionally tasked to protect Nigeria and her citizens. You must use your weapons legally to ensure that criminals operating in this region are decimated immediately.”
On his part, General Officer Commanding, GOC, 8 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Hakeem Otiki, promised an enhanced welfare package for the troops as contained in the COAS goodwill message, while urging them to crush any criminal elements in the area.
He said: “Ensure you do your job diligently without delay because as soldiers you have the licence to kill criminals but you must not be killed. It is your responsibility to safeguard this nation from every form of security threat. Make sure you patrol the flashpoints both day and night. Do not hobnob with any local to avoid distractions.”
The COAS and his team visited the Gusau-Jibia-Zurmi road, a border location close to Maradi in Niger Republic, where he interacted with a detachment of Nigerien troops patrolling the borders of Niger and Nigeria.
Representative of the COAS later moved to the frontline to address troops of 17 Brigade on the outskirts of Batsari town in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State, where he advised the troops to be professional and responsive in the discharge of their constitutional roles.
Adeosun and his team later paid a courtesy visit on Governor Aminu Masari, where Adeosun informed that the purpose of the visit was to interact with the troops as well as assess the security situation in the state and the Northwest region.
Reacting, Masari prayed that the visit would be historic in curbing the menace of armed banditry in the state.
He said: ”We cannot sit down and watch our people being killed. We are going to do our best by providing every necessary support to the Nigerian Army in fighting these devilish elements.”