Nigerian Army has arrested scores of officers and soldiers who protested violently at the Maiduguri airport, Borno State, over deployment to new locations in the North East, and may face military justice.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, Thursday, fruther said that he had directed that another sustained campaign focused on community stabilization be conducted to counter the negative narrative and ideology of the Boko Haram Terrorists to break the effect on the misled.
Speaking on the incident for the first time at a media parley in Abuja, the COAS said, “The incident at the Maiduguri airport that happened just about two weeks ago is an issue which ordinarily is unimaginable, that disciplined troops, soldiers will behave in that way.
“But we have our procedures and this issue has been thoroughly investigated and those that have been found to be involved will face military justice. This sort of affairs will never be tolerated no matter the person or persons involved.
“There was the directive I gave that there should be a general reorganisation, redeployment of troops to various locations for us to consolidate on the operational efforts in the North East to prevent the unnecessary attacks on our own troops and civilians across this nation.
“It is part of the overall plans to secure the North East and they were directed to execute that plan and if for whatever reason, they resisted it, then it’s unfortunate and we are going to deal with them accordingly.
“They were not the only ones that were directed to move from one location to the other, there are several locations that troops had been moved to, from Maiduguri from Bama, Damaturu and so on. Why should their own be different?
“We won’t tolerate indiscipline, and be rest assured we are working very hard to see to the welfare of every soldier in the theatre and even outside. Our welfare and moral programmes have been quite comprehensive and we will continue to do that.”
Speaking further, the Army Chief said the media interaction was aimed at enlightening the general public on the Nigerian Army’s non-kinetic efforts at combating insurgency.
“One of such effort is promoting community stabilization as a means of combating the negative ideology of the Boko Haram Terrorists.
“It is common knowledge that the Nigerian Army along with other security agencies is currently involved in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality across the nation. This has resulted in the conduct of several military operations by the Nigerian Army, notably which is Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East.
“These operations conducted by the Nigerian Army have yielded the desired results, particularly in the North East where Boko Haram Terrorists have been substantially degraded, thereby rendering their ability to conduct coordinated attacks impossible.
“This has further created the enabling environment for the conduct of Operation Last Hold which is aimed at a dignified return of refugees and internally displaced persons back to their ancestral homes.”
Saying that the Nigerian Army was not unaware of the many security challenges that have bedeviled this country in the last decade or so, Buratai said, “However, I am pleased to state that giant strides had been made in this regard. Our security architecture as a country is one with a very positive outlook.”