Taraba Slain Cops: Finally, Buratai Vows to Deal with Culpable Soldiers
In a bid to forestall a recurrence, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, has disclosed that the Nigerian Army (NA) will take decisive action against the troops involved in the killing of three Police detectives in Taraba State last month, if they are eventually found culpable.
Buratai, who stated this while declaring open the combined 2019 second and third quarter Chief of Army Staff Conference in Abuja, added that investigation on the Taraba episode by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Joint Investigation Panel, has already been concluded.
The COAS, while describing the Taraba episode as unfortunate, said the ugly incident was unhealthy for the desired cooperation and collaboration expected among security agencies.
He charged Army commanders at all levels to always adhere to the rules of engagement, while also respecting the extant laws and fundamental human rights of citizens as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.
“It is imperative that we become more proactive in ensuring the discipline and professionalism of our personnel. In our dealings with other agencies of government and indeed the larger society, we should always be professional, courteous and disciplined.
“We should all note that the Nigerian Army, as part of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, is mandated to support the civil authority and the Nigerian Police Force in internal security operations. However, recent occurrences have shown that there is need for more reorientation on civil-military relations, especially at the junior cadre level.
“Unfortunately, incidences such as the recent one at Ibbi in Taraba, which generated intense media comments are not healthy for the smooth cooperation and operations of our security forces. Investigation of the incidence has been concluded and decisive action will be taken to ensure it never happened again.
“Similarly the recent case of a rape of a lady by a soldier in 34 Brigade, and the shooting of a motorcyclist by another soldier, are examples of unwarranted events which we must guide against. Nigerian Army will not condone any form of indiscipline or actions that would tarnish its good image.
“I hereby charge commander at all levels to continue to educate personnel on the need to adhere to the rules of engagement at all times and also respect all extant laws and fundamental human rights of citizens as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution,” Lt. Gen. Buratai said.