The Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has cautioned soldiers against the abuse of social media, warning that the Army authorities would not take it lightly with any personnel who take to social media to denigrate constituted authorities.
The Army boss, who gave the warning Wednesday while addressing soldiers during a familiarisation tour at 14 Brigade Ohafia, Abia State, tasked soldiers with showing loyalty and respect for the core values of the Nigeria Army.
Condemning the recent uncomplimentary remarks by a ‘one-way driver’ soldier against the Governor of Lagos State, the COA threatened severe sanctions against any soldier abusing the use of social media.
He said, “Social media is good, but you must use it responsibly. We will not go to social media and start abusing constituted authorities like the young soldier did against the Lagos State Governor.
“What you cannot do to your dad or elders at home, don’t do to others. The Army is a disciplined organisation, and we can’t tolerate that. If we see it, we will descend heavily on you.
“You must conform to the rules and regulations that guide us. We have our core values, and we expect every soldier to abide by them.”
He assured the soldiers of enhanced welfare, adding that the Federal Government has approved payment of the backlog of the Group Assurance package for the families of their departed colleagues.
The COAS further said that the Army authorities, in collaboration with the Abia State Government, had initiated action to address some of the identified challenges in the barracks, including water and power supplies.
He explained that power disruption in Ohafia was a result of vandalism of power installations and urged the soldiers to be patient as solar panels were being installed in the barracks as an alternative.
“Army headquarters is working to improve your living conditions. We are receiving tremendous support from the federal overnment,” he added.
The COAS, therefore, charged the Army personnel to reciprocate government gestures by being loyal and committed to duty.
Gen. Lagbaja said he was at the Brigade as part of his familiarisation tour of Army formations in 82 Division Nigeria Army, to see the state of infrastructure and other support facilities to intervene in the Army headquarters.
Fielding questions later from newsmen, the Army boss expressed delight over a significant improvement in the security situation in the southeast zone.
The COAS, who was before his elevation was the General Officer Commanding 82 Division Nigeria Army, Enugu, commended his men and other security agencies for their efforts in the fight against insecurity in the zone.
“The security situation in the South East has improved. The spate of attacks on government facilities and installations has decreased drastically.
“The issue of kidnapping is being addressed. That’s the charge I have given the troops to go out against the dissident groups and completely exterminate the threat.
“As GOC then, I knew what the situation was like, but from the briefs I receive now as COAS, I will say the troops have done very well to combat the threats.”
The COAS, however, noted that military option was not enough to completely address the challenge of insecurity, particularly Monday sit-at-homes in the South East.
He said that non-kinetic measures were needed and solicited the cooperation of other stakeholders to help proffer a lasting solution to the menace.
“There are several lines of effort in combating asymmetric threats, and the use of military is one line of efforts. The impact of the military line of effort is limited, and so we need other supporting lines of effort, such as developmental initiatives, to combat this threat.
“We need other stakeholders to come on board to completely address this issue. While we continue to deploy the military line of effort, we need the collaboration of these other stakeholders to address the threat.”
The COAS admitted that talks are already ongoing with stakeholders, including the government, youths, and market union leaders.
During the tour, Gen. Lagbaja inspected facilities at the Brigade and inaugurated the Brigade Commander’s Quarters, renovated by the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Nsikak John Edet.
The COAS was accompanied on the tour by top Army officers, including the Army Spokesman, Major Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu; GOC 82 Division Enugu, Major General Hassan Taiwo Dada; and others.