The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Turkur Buratai, in Lagos on Saturday warned officers and men of the Nigerian Army against fraternising with politicians.
Buratai gave the warning while addressing officers and men at the 9 Brigade in Ikeja, Lagos.
“I want you to remain professional and apolitical. Any officer or soldier seeing hibernating with politicians or getting involved in politics of whatever nature will not be tolerated and such officer will be dealt with accordingly if caught,” he said.
Buratai said that the country must have a professionally responsive Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles, which was part of his vision.
He stated that officers must be professional at all times, adding that soldiers must be responsive in the discharge of their duties.
“We must conduct ourselves professionally and responsibly to tackle armed robbery and oil theft challenges to a logical conclusion which cuts across most part of the country,” he said.
Buratai also said there were other challenges like administrative and welfare challenges which would also be taken care of.
He commended the soldiers operating in the North-Eastern part of the country, saying they were doing well in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents.
The chief of army staff also said that soldiers must embrace ”espirit de corps” and be their brothers’ keepers, adding that there must be close cooperation with other security agencies.
“You must work closely with the Nigeria Police, Department of State Security, the Nigeria Immigration Service, and so on,” he said.
He added that soldiers must have good civil-military relations, saying that efforts had been ongoing to enhance this relationship within the army’s area of operation.
“You must all conduct yourselves professionally when dealing with the civilians, respect their fundamental human rights.
“As a professional soldier, you are here to defend the territorial integrity of the country which includes the entire population so they must not be molested,” he said.