The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, on Wednesday in Abuja warned officers and soldiers who gave out vital information on operations to desist from it or be punished.
Ihejirika gave the warning at the opening of a three-day “Nigerian Army Transformation Seminar 2013”, with the theme: “Building Capacity of the Nigerian Army to meet Contemporary Challenges.”
He said: “Let me use this opportunity to warn officers and soldiers who indulge in giving out information both from Army Headquarters and other formations, certain vital information that had one way or the other worked negatively in our operations.
“There are also some other soldiers that have been found posting negative comments on the Internet and also some had been engaged in conversing with insurgents.”
Ihejirika said that any officer or soldier caught to be linked in one way or the other would be disciplined.
He said that the Director Military intelligence, the Military Police and Commanders in the Field had been encouraged to continue the monitoring of activities of its personnel, adding that military service was a service of patriotism.
The army chief said the soldier that gave out information on the movement of troops to Mali, which led to their being attacked near Okene, Kogi State, had been apprehended and would soon be court-marshalled.
According to him, the seminar could not have come at a better time than now when the country is grappling with series of security challenges, some of which are threatening the corporate existence of the nation.
Ihejirika said he was impressed with the choice of the theme of the seminar, adding: “I have also noted the series of lectures outlined in the programme, which centred on management and human resource development in the army.
“The theme was central to the attainment of my vision which is ‘To Transform the Army to a Force Better Able to meet Contemporary Challenges’.”
In his goodwill message, Senator Thompson Sekibo, the Chairman Senate Committee on Defence, commended the army for the sacrifice they had made in their line of duty.
Sekibo also commended the steadfastness and conduct of officers and soldiers in meeting up with the current security challenges facing the nation.
He said the professionalism, patriotism and selflessness with which the officers and soldiers responded to internal security challenges, especially the wave of terrorism were both reassuring and commendable.
Sekibo said: “The Transformation and Innovation Centre will be implored to keep pace with global military advancements in addressing contemporary challenges.
“Let me therefore seize this opportunity to call on everyone to cooperate and support the army as it discharges its responsibilities.
“I assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is doing all that is necessary to ensure peace and stability in the country.”
Sekibo assured the army that the present administration was fully aware of all the daunting challenges facing them, adding that the National Assembly was working assiduously to ensure that all their demands were met.
He enjoined the army to continue to uphold public confidence in maintaining law and order in their internal security and peace support operations.
Earlier, Major General Ibrahim Sani, the Chief of Army Transformation, had said the essence of the transformation was to ensure effectiveness in order to be prepared for current challenges for emerging and evolving future threats.
Sani said the Army Transformation and Innovation Centre recognised the importance of human resource element in the attainment of COAS’ vision.
He said the event was to elicit new methods of optimising army human resources management based on continuous improvements of army management skills and procedures.