By Augustine Ehikioya
Some former Heads of State have expressed confidence in the leadership of the Nigerian Army led by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, to surmount the security challenges facing the nation.
The former Heads of State included Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd) and Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (Rtd).
A statement on Monday by the Director Army Public Relations,
Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, and made available to Security Watch Africa (SWA), said the two elder statesmen spoke when the COAS paid them courtesy visits in Niger State.
It reads “Former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida has said he is confident in Nigerian Army’s (NA) efforts and ability, under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. -Gen. Faruk Yahaya, to stem the tide of current security challenges being faced by the Nation.
“Gen. Babangida made the statement today Monday 22nd November, 2021, when the COAS paid him a courtesy visit at his hill top residence in Minna, Niger State.
“The former Head of State pointed out, that though the Nation is dealing with security threats in some parts of the country, the NA has put up tremendous effort to tackle the security challenges, since the COAS assumed command.”
Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, the statement said, also noted that “the COAS assumed command at a time the Nation is being confronted with multifaceted security challenges, expressed satisfaction with the COAS’ unrelenting drive at confronting the challenges squarely at all fronts.
“He commended the COAS for engaging key stakeholders across the country in the untiring search for public support and cooperation to effectively enhance ongoing operations against insecurity in the Nation.
“Gen. Abubakar further lauded the COAS for his pragmatic leadership in visiting military formations and theatres of operations to engage and motivate the troops.
“He called on the officers in the junior leadership of the NA to emulate the exemplary leadership virtues of the COAS.”
The Executive Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, the statement said, has called on the good people of Niger State and Nigerians in general to support the Nigerian Army, the Armed Forces and security agencies in “ongoing anti-banditry and Counter Insurgency / Counter Terrorism Operations in the country.
The Governor, according to the statement, made the call when the COAS paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Minna.
“The Governor who maintained that without security there would be deficiency in socio-economic development, urged all key stakeholders and well meaning Nigerians to support and cooperate with the military and other security agencies in the fight against banditry and other forms of security challenges in the country.
“He assured the COAS of his government’s cooperation with the NA and the AFN to mitigate insecurity in the State.”
Speaking during the visit, the COAS disclosed he was on a working visit to Niger State and Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command, Nigerian Army, for the Doctrinal Development Conference, aimed at reviewing Army training and operational concepts.
“He however added that the visit to the two former Heads of State and the Governor was not solely to pay homage, but to as well interface with the former leaders and the Governor in his effort to squarely address security challenges in Niger State and the Nation in general,” it stated.
Lt. -Gen. Yahaya, the statement said, expressed optimism that with the right support and cooperation from key stakeholders and the citizenry, the NA and indeed the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies will overcome the current security challenges bedeviling the Nation.