Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, has called on troops fighting Boko Haram insurgents not to give room for cowardice.

The call came days after the army chief said he had relocated to the north-east to lead his men to war.

For 10 years, soldiers have been fighting the insurgents who have killed thousands and displaced millions.

In a message to the troops on “final clearance” of the insurgents, Buratai said from now on, it is forward ever as the army owes it a duty to save the country from the menace of Boko Haram.

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“Ours is a professional calling, a call to serve our dear country; a call to defend the territorial integrity of our fatherland, which we must all be proud of,” he said.

“We must also be proud of our calling as professional soldiers and patriots. Therefore, we must go all out to stop and eliminate these criminals. We must do it now. There is no better time than now!

“In this our honourable mission and endeavour, there is no room for the chicken-hearted. The Nigerian Army of today is for the committed, disciplined,  patriotic and selfless officers and soldiers which I believe you all are. There is no room for cowardice and no room for the lily-levered ones. From now on it is FORWARD EVER BACKWARD NEVER! The sacrifices of our fallen heroes must never be in vain! Nigerian Army officers and soldiers have no cause to despair as ours is a noble and patriotic cause. It is a cause we must all be proud of.”

Buratai charged commanders to inspire those under them, asking them not to relent.

“Gentlemen gallant commanders all levels, you must hold firmly to your officers and men. You must instil confidence through your words and actions. In order to win the trust and confidence of their subordinates, commanders must never show fear or fatigue. If they do that, they will lose all moral authority to lead and command their men,” he said.

“You cannot and must not take men and equipment in to battle without situating it, without putting yourself through the whole course and playing out all the likely scenarios you may encounter and diligently working out all possible options. We must be committed and fastidious. We must consider and workout the minutest details, factors and all possible outcomes in all our operations.”

The army chief said he has confidence in the officers and soldiers. He also reminded them to think out of the box and bring the war to a positive end.


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