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Buratai says no Army can ever have enough equipment

He has charged Army leaders to be dynamic in the prosecution of the war against Boko Haram while also minimising casualties of troops

President Muhammadu Buhari (left) with Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai (right)

While speaking at the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Annual Conference in Maiduguri, Borno State on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, the Army chief said no Army in the world can possibly have enough equipment to conduct its operations.

Therefore, he said the military leaders must be dynamic in the prosecution of the war against terrorists and minimise casualties of troops.

He said, "I must also add that no Army can ever have enough equipment to conduct its operations; hence, it is incumbent on all commanders and senior leaders of the Nigerian Army to recognise that we're involved in asymmetry warfare which calls for dynamism and flexibility if we're to succeed with minimal casualties.

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"Therefore, commanders are to ensure that they show leadership at all times and continuously adapt with changing situations in order to surmount adversity in the conduct of operations."

Buratai's comment comes on the heel of the recent killing of over 100 soldiers which occured when terrorists overran the 157 Task Force Battalion in Metele village in Guzamala local government area of Bornoduring an attack on November 18.

In the wake of the attack, several soldiers have complained about the lack of proper equipment to fight the terrorists who have made several attempts to overrun army bases.

A soldier told Premium Times, "We are being killed on daily basis as if our lives don't matter. Of course as soldiers we signed to lay down our lives in defence of this country, but certainly not in the manner we are being presented for slaughter without dignity. A soldier should die fitting and not being chased or overpowered.

"Our morale has been dampened so badly - not only because we are not given our due allowances; but for the fact that we have been outgunned by the Boko Haram.

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"The situation has gone so bad that it has gotten to a stage that soldiers would be rushing to pack up their camps and flee upon hearing the news that Boko Haram fighters are advancing.

"We have suddenly lost our spirit of launching attacks because of lack of resources to prosecute the battle. Many of us are ready to do our best, but there has been no requisite support from those sending us out there."

The attack has fueled speculations about the nation's defence spending as the opposition has accused the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, of diverting the funds meant to arm the military to President Muhammadu Buhari's re-election campaign.

Army changing strategies against Boko Haram

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During his address on Wednesday, Buratai also revealed that the Army is reorganising to align with some current realities in the war against the terrorist group.

"It is my belief that the Nigerian Army must start to plan and strategise on how to end the operations in the northeast.

"To this end, I have directed for a change from a wholly defensive posture to one where we defend in numbers and conduct offensive operations in smaller packets to simultaneously in different fronts," he said.

He also revealed that in-theater training for troops in the frontlines has been expanded to help troops operate and conduct effective operations.

He said the Army's leadership has opened the doors to provide local and foreign training opportuinities for all cadre of officers and soldiers. He revealed that 156 members of the Army have attended foreign courses in 2018, with 2,390 also attending local courses and training programmes including Masters degree programs, workshops and conferences.

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