At the Chief of Army Staff Conference in Maiduguri Borno state, the Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu told the force not to allow the incident of the drone error in the sleepy town of Tudun Biri in Kaduna state to hold them down.
President Tinubu has urged soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Army not to be discouraged about the operational setback arising from the error airstrike on civil population, adding that, Tudun Biri incident was a compound tragedy but asked the army to remain focused.
He spoke in an address at the opening of 2023 Chief of Army Staff Conference in Maiduguri, Borno State on Monday, saying, “It is severely painful to see harm befallen those we have sworn to protect. Don’t be discouraged, neither lose heart. The fate of our country is in your hands.”
He said he wished the nation could reverse the incident which led to the killing of at least 90 people but regretted the tragedy had occurred. He urged the army to move on.
The president noted that neither compensation not any gift can return life. He however assured the incident will be thoroughly investigated.”
He also assured of his readiness to approve request for armed forces to provide adequate security in the country. He said terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements should not be allowed to put Nigeria in unlawful and disruptive image.
President Tinubu asked the military to protect democracy.
Commenting on the recent shooting by some soldiers at the State Police Headquarters in Yola, Adamawa State, the president warned the military to stop inter-agencies. “This should be the last mistake,” he warned.
While addressing troops of the Joint Task Force Northeast, Operation Hadin Kai at the Maimalari Cantonment Nigerian Army, the president said he came
to tell them the country leadership we will not let them down.
“I can assure you that we shall continue to do our best to take care of you and families of those that paid the supreme prize. That is why I came to see you, to salute you,” he announced.
Chief of Arm Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja said the conference was very significant being the first since President Tinubu assumed office and his appointment as army head.
He said the theme of this year COAS conference; Personnel Motivation for Effective Operational Performance in a Joint Environment, was carefully chosen to assess army performance and boost capability ans welfare of officers and soldiers.
The three-day conference is being attended by former army chiefs including Lt Gen Alani Akinrinade (1976-1980), Lt Gen Ishaya Bamayi (1996-1999), Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika (2010-2014), immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor and Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya (2021-2023).
Also in attendance are Principal Staff Officers from the army headquarters, corps commanders, field operation/theatre commanders and commanders of army formations.