No plans to truncate Nigeria’s democracy –Lagbaja

From Molly Kilete, Abuja

Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Taoreed Lagbaja, yesterday, assured that the army has no plan to truncate the nation’s democracy, which he said has come to stay.

He said the Army would continue to defend the Nigerian constitution with the last drop of its blood and not truncate it for whatever reason. He said while it is the duty of elected leaders to lead, the military would continue to carry out its job as enshrined in the constitution.

Lagbaja, therefore, charged officers and soldiers not to be deceived and used by politicians and other selfish individuals to achieve their ambitions but remain professional and be above board as they discharge their constitutional duties.

The COAS, who stated this while declaring open a seminar of the Army Headquarters Department of Military Secretary in Abuja, said the army remains the agents of democracy.

“Permit me to seize this opportunity to reiterate that the armed forces, particularly the Nigerian Army, has come to terms with the country’s choice of democracy as the preferred system of governance.

“We are, therefore, agents of democracy and have no desire to truncate it. The Nigerian Army will continue to defend our constitution and not suspend it for whatever reason. It is the duty of our elected leaders to lead while the military does its job as enshrined in our constitution.

“Nigerian Army personnel must, therefore, remain professional and be above board as they discharge their constitutional duties,” he said.

While lamenting the security situation in the country, he said a lot has changed in the past decade regarding recruitment drive and personnel administration in response to the security dynamics in Nigeria’s internal and external environments.

“The army has witnessed significant manpower growth in both the officers and ranks and file cadres. This growth underscored the need for a more efficient manpower management system and policy adjustments. Ideas about one such policy shift brought about the institution of promotion examinations and junior and senior courses equivalents for Direct Regular Combatant Commission officers.

“It is quite instructive to note this important shift came out of seminars and brainstorming sessions such as the one we have gathered here to undertake,” he said.

The COAS said the officer corps of any army is crucial to its professional development as they constitute the bedrock of an army’s professionalism and sound administration.

“Officers’ career planning and management are crucial constituents of sound administration, which, by the way, is one of the pillars of my command philosophy.

“This seminar has been carefully designed to expose participants to human resource management in an increasingly complex setting like the Nigerian Army,” Lagbaja said.

He described the theme of the seminar, “Efficient Human Resource Management in the 21 century: Imperatives for Sustaining a Professional Nigerian Army in a Joint Environment,” as apt and responsive as it synchronises with objective of his command philosophy which is developing highly skilled and competent change managers, at all levels, to effectively confront the ever-changing 21st century security environment.

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