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The Nigerian Army must sustain its investment in personnel management by continuously creating responsibilities, providing direction as well as inspiration and vision for all categories of personnel and at all times.

According to a communiqué issued on Thursday at the end of the 4th quarter Chief of Army Conference, this is necessary to confront and combat evolving internal and external security threats.

The conference was held in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The communiqué, which was signed by Major General Chris Jemitola, the Chief of Policy and Plans, stressed the need to maintain the high morale of troops at all times.

It stressed the need for continuous self assessment of capabilities vis-à-vis ongoing operations with a view to optimising existing capacities, while strategising for increase combat efficiency.

The communiqué identified “critical thinking” by all officers as a necessary means of projecting the army to greater heights and called for collaboration with sister security agencies.

It said that such collaboration was necessary for a “robust security architecture” capable of dealing with existing and emerging challenges.

The communiqué said the conference deliberated extensively on ongoing army operations and harped on the need for such operations to be conducted within the context of the rule of law and international best practices.

It said: “Human rights issues were also discussed which brought to fore the need for commanders at all levels to abide by extant rules in fulfilling Nigerian Army’s obligations to the citizenry, especially the strict employment of established Rules of Engagement.

“Civil military relations were highlighted as part of Nigerian Army’s efforts to integrate and relate to the general public, especially host communities for the winning of their hearts and minds.

“The Nigerian army identified the core values of discipline, professionalism and responsiveness as important benchmarks to reposition the service being the pride of the nation.”

The communiqué noted that the army performed creditably in 2017.

It said: “Lessons were learnt as drawn from the Nigerian Army operations and exercises such as Egwu Eke II and Exercise Crocodile Smile conducted in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“Improvements in the exercises were projected consistent with the lessons learnt and as captured at the Nigerian Army Forecast of Events, 2018.”

The communiqué said that the Official Secret Act of 1962 would be applied strictly in the conduct of future operations.

“It is the resolve of the Nigerian army to remain responsive and apolitical while re-affirming its total loyalty to the President, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” it stated.

It noted the army’s sustenance strategy through Internally Generated Revenue, but identified “appropriate and timely government funding… as a requisite condition for prompt successes in the conduct of operations”.

The theme of the conference was: “Re-appraising the Nigerian Army’s Operational Efficiency in Combating Contemporary National Security Challenges.”

The event provided an opportunity for the army to review major events in 2017 and make projections for 2018.

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