Molly Kilete, Abuja
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday, accused officers and soldiers involved in the anti-insurgency war of indiscipline and lack of commitment.
The angry army chief said their attitude was affecting the success of the counter insurgency and other security operations in the country.
He said there were proven cases of lack of willingness on the part of soldiers to carry out their assignments as directed, insisting that professional capacity alone was not a sufficient condition to succeed in a task.
Buratai who said willingness to perform the task was of uttermost importance, warned those not willing to perform their duties to get out of the way as the army would no longer tolerate their act.
He spoke at the opening of a five-day transformational leadership workshop for mid level officers and soldiers at the Nigeria Army Resource Centre, Abuja.
“It is unfortunate but the truth is that almost every setback the Nigeria Army has had in our operations in recent times can be traced to insufficient willingness to perform assigned tasks or simply insufficient commitment to a common national/military course by those at the frontlines.
“Many of those on whom the responsibility for physical actions against the adversary squarely falls are yet to fully take ownership of our common national or service cause.
“I, therefore, believe that the transformational leadership workshops will again remind and clarify to participants what our President and Commander-in-Chief meant by: “This generation and indeed, future generations of Nigerians have no other country but Nigeria, we must remain here and salvage it together.”
He said Buhari’s exhortation, though about 35 years old, is still relevant given that “in some cases, apathy has even increased amongst the younger generations.”
Buratai said it was to address the menace that the army organised the programme, which has as theme, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.”
He said: “Some persons may wonder what makes this leadership workshop different from other leadership trainings or programmes that the NA has conducted in the past. We all know that leadership is core to military professionalism, hence all military professional courses include aspects of military leadership skills acquisition.
“The AHQ DATI Transformational Leadership Workshop is clearly and explicitly designed to teach/preach transformational leadership values to the next generation of NA leaders (officers and soldiers). It would also establish a platform for subsequent mentoring of participants after the workshop, hence the theme has been aptly chosen.
“But you will all agree with me that a professional NA also needs to build up and sustain its moral component: the ‘why’ we fight. This is because one general effect of modernisation and ICT in the last few decades have seen a decline in nationalistic enthusiasm.
“Transformational leadership programmes are solely designed to imbue in leaders, the consciousness and respect for the unique value of their nation and institutions through which they render service to their nation: the NA in our own case).
“This is done without undermining the imperatives of international cooperation or general inter-dependency of humans.
“The AHQ DATI Transformational Leadership Workshop is clearly and explicitly designed to teach/preach transformational leadership values to the next generation of NA leaders (officers and soldiers). It would also establish a platform for subsequent mentoring of participants after the workshop, hence the theme has been aptly chosen as “lead, follow or get out of the way.”
While noting that the Nigerian army had good successes over the years in the grooming of military leaders, Buratai said: “This is evident in the many successes that the NA has achieved in our operations and the high performance of our personnel (both officers/soldiers) in international/multinational operations or other military duties. And this is the reason why I have always ensured that the promotion of NA personnel is essentially based on professional considerations only.
“But we all know that professional capacity is not a sufficient condition to succeed in a task; willingness to perform the task is equally necessary.
He said “with the calibre, capacities and proven commitment (to the NA and/or the Nigerian nation) of the resource persons selected to drive this workshop is an attestation to its high importance. I urge every participant to put the highest level of seriousness to achieve the full objectives of this workshop and ensure that the precious time and efforts of this calibre of resource persons are not wasted.”
Chief of Transformation and Innovation (COTI), Maj-Gen. Felix Abugo said the workshop was to highlight the values of communal dependency, communal surveillance and communal enforcement, as against the dangers of individualism and sycophancy among military professionals.
“It will interrogate the understanding of service, sacrifice and honour among participants and provide them with worthy examples to emulate. Furthermore, it will work out ways to institutionalise mentorship as a framework for raising leaders as well as the environment/tools necessary for mentorship in the NA.”