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COAS assures visionary, professional army operations


By Suleiman Adamu, Sokoto

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Farouk Yahaya has said that nothing will be left unturned in driving a visionary course for a professional Nigerian Army that is ready to accomplish assigned missions within a Joint environment in defence of the Nigeria nation.

General Yahaya made the remarks at the opening of the Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness lecture for personnel of 8 Division , NA, Sokoto organised by the Army Headquarters Department of Transformation and Innovation.

He noted that the move was necessitated by the myriads of security threats in the country hence the deployment of troops alongside other security agencies in various theatres to contain the threats.

According Yahaya, the operations had exerted significant pressure on troops with the resultant effect of high casualty rates, injuries, damage to equipment and accumulated stress as well as other mental health-related disorders such as PTSD.

” The maiden edition in of the seminar held November last year, was targeted at Principal Staff Officers at the Army Headquarters, General Officers Commanding, representatives of Corps, Commandants of Nigerian Army schools as well as commanders. It drew the awarenesS of the disorder at the strategic level and aided formulation of policies and directives for Unauthorized Disclosure, Transimission, Reproduction or Retention of Information on this Sheet violated official secret Act CAP 05 (LFN) 2004, the management of affected troops welfare and other administrative concerns.”

Regrettably , General Yahaya represented by the GOC 8 Division Headquarters , NA Sokoto,Major General Godwin Mutkut said the Division experienced a sad incident where a soldier deployed at Forward Operations Base Rabbah killed his colleagues and shot himself. While the outcome of the Board of Inquiry was being awaited.

” This sad event would have been avoided if you have reported the syndrome. You are enjoined to report any observed anomaly in the behavior of your comrades in order to forestall future Occurrence.”

He further applauded applauding loyalty and performance of the Army in the Joint Task Force (North West) theatre of operation assuring that Army Headquarters will continue to provide the resources and direction required to carry out all assigned roles.

” I am glad to note that you all have performed creditably well in the discharge of your various missions and responsibilities and your efforts have yielded very good results, as evident in the successes recorded so far in the fight against banditry across the Northwestern region of the country”, he stated while stressing that much was still required from to achieve the operational end-state.

The COAS lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for for his commitment and invaluable support to the Nigerian Army towards ensuring success in its various operations.

” We must do well on our part, to justify these resources and goodwill by executing all assigned tasks swiftly and in the most efficient and professional manner.”

Hitherto, General Yahaya urged participants to take advantage of the presence of the personalities to enrich their knowledge, administrative and leadership skills and be sufficiently endowed to deploy all learnt to move the Nigerian Army forward.

Earlier, the Chief of Traumatic and Innovation, Major General Zakari Abubakar the lecture on PTSD was meant to educate personnel on the definition of PTSD especially issue that led to trauma, common traumatic experiences in the battle field, causative factors and symptoms of PTSD.

” It will afford the Team the opportunity to interact with both Officers and Soldiers of the Division in order to ascertain their level of awareness of the disorder and also impact requisite knowledge on the symptoms to look out for to assist colleagues affected by PTSD

He said the lecture would broaden participants’ perspectives on how to affectively assist fellow soldiers with PTSD through; being trusted friend/family member/co-workers/supervision, inviting them to distracting activities that are positive such as hobbies, sports, reading among others.

According to Abubakar, it was basically in line with the transformation efforts of the COAS and part of the scheduled awareness visits spanning all NA formations and training schools.

He explained that the myriads of emerging security threats have led to the involvement of the Nigerian Army in wide-ranging military operations within the last decade.

” These operations have exposed troops to long periods of duty leading to accumulated stress, traumatic experiences and other conditions prime for PTSD to manifest.

“Consequently, the growing cases of battle stress amongst troops if unattended could lead to PTSD and thus affect the moral and physical components of fighting power.”


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