FG reforms defence sector to enhance military fighting power ― Minister

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja

The Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd) has said those carrying arms are being treated in the language they understand.

He made the statement during the decoration ceremony of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya.

Magashi (retd) stated that the ceremony was a normal decoration and that the President had given his directives on what he wants them to achieve.

He said, “It is a normal decoration, the President has already talked to us about how he wants us to operate, how he wants us to solve the problem of this insecurity especially in the North East and he has already started.”

Asked what the President expects from the new Chief of Army Staff, he said,” I think like every other Chief, his mandate is to bring to an end this banditry, kidnapping and the Boko Haram issue and I think right from his resumption to date there is a lot of improvement in the way we are fighting this war.

“The planning is thorough, the activities are going according to operational plans and I am sure with that kind of arrangement we will get out of the insurgency problem. “

Asked whether they have started implementing what the President said that criminal elements undermining national security would be treated in the language they would understand, he said:

” I really don’t seem to see any need for explanation, if you commit an offence you will be treated, you will be tried, if you are guilty you will be punished.

“But for anybody picking arms against soldiers, you know what it means, we will also treat him according to the law. I don’t think that there is anything wrong to get rid of your enemy if he wants to get rid of you and that is what the President is saying.

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“You cannot burn our weapon and be allowed to stay alive because he can use that weapon against you. So we use the weapon against them and that is what we are doing.

“We are getting a lot of them to understand that language because we have been following humanitarian approach but still, we are not being acknowledged. So, now, we want to do the right thing, we want to take-on anybody who is carrying arm and that is the truth about it. Nigeria will not allow this kind of nonsense to be happening, that is our message.”

Also fielding questions from journalists, the newly decorated Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Farouk Yahaya, Wednesday declared that many bandits and other criminal elements undermining national security have been sent to God to go and answer for their crimes.

The Chief of Army Staff spoke shortly after he was decorated with his new Lieutenant General rank by President Muhammadu Buhari at the First Lady’s Conference Room, Presidential villa, Abuja.

Lt. General Yahaya appreciated the president for the confidence reposed in him, pledging his unalloyed loyalty on behalf of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army.

He promised that the army would continue to do its best to arrest insecurity in the country particularly insurgency and other violent crimes, adding that the military would continue to leverage on the successes recorded so far and its experience.

According to him, “I want to first most sincerely appreciate the President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces for the confidence reposed in me and now being decorated Lieutenant General and Chief of Army Staff.

“And I want to pledge my unalloyed loyalty on behalf of the officers and men of Nigerian Army and also continue to do our very best to arrest this challenge that we have, particularly insurgency, insecurity and other violent crimes.

“We are already getting successes. We will leverage on that including our experience in this job and by the grace of God, we shall get there.”

Asked what message he had for the bandits and other criminal elements undermining national security, given President Buhari’s declaration that they would be treated in the language they understand, he stated: “That’s what we have started doing already and many of them have been sent to God to go and answer for their crimes. And we will continue to do that.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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