The Nigerian Army has approved the promotion of 5,000 soldiers fighting insurgents in the North-East and others involved in other operations, as part of steps to boost their morale.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, made the announcement on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the 2015 Chief of Army Staff third quarter conference held at the Army Headquarters conference hall.
He said the approval of the promotion of the soldiers was one of the many measures introduced by the Army under his command to boost troops’ morale and reposition its operations.
He said it was also in line with the vision of the Army command to reward gallant troops in any way deemed fit to boost their combat readiness and willingness to serve their fatherland.
He said that troops serving in the North-East and in other operations in the country would regularly receive rewards from the Army high command for their selfless service to the nation.
“Since we came on board, we have introduced several measures aimed at encouraging our troops to give their best in the service of their nation.
“The approval of the accelerated promotion of 5,000 soldiers was to redeem the promise made by my predecessor to the troops fighting insurgents in the North-East.
“It is my belief that this promotion, coupled with other incentives, will encourage our troops to fight for our country,’’ he said.
Mr. Buratai said that the Army, under his watch, within the short period, had recorded major successes in the areas of fighting insurgency, improving its human rights credentials as well as improving the welfare of troops.
He said that his vision of entrenching professionalism and bequeathing a combat ready Army to the nation was on course as commanders and troops had been fully briefed to key into the vision.
He warned commanders and senior officers to guard against acts that could undermine efforts of the present administration to rebuild the image of the Army.
“You will all agree with me that the renewed breath of change flows directly from the President in his directive to our operations and other directive on his vision for the Army.
“I therefore demand that you all react with corresponding appropriateness with regards to the directive because majority of our requirements within the limited period has been provided for,’’ he said.
The COAS charged the officers and all personnel of the Nigeria Army to constantly maintain the required level of physical fitness.
He gave all Army officers and soldiers a December 15, 2015 deadline to shape up or face the medical board for the appropriate disciplinary actions.
He also warned against leasing or selling of Nigeria Army lands across the country to private individuals or organisations and directed lands already sold be recovered with immediate effect.
The one-day conference will take briefs from theatre commanders on all Army operations across the country.