The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai says the Nigerian Army is a “professional army” that would never operate outside its rule of engagement.
Buratai stated this amidst accusations that the army shot unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20 and a damning report by CNN which put a lie to the denials by the Army that it did.
He spoke when he received members of the House of Representatives Committee on Army at the Army Headquarters, Abuja on Wednesday.
Addressing the issue of last month’s #EndSARS protest, he said Nigerians should feel safe.
“Let me assure you and all Nigerians that the Nigerian Army is a professional Army.
“We follow our rules of engagement. Nigerians should feel safe.
“We abide by rules of engagement and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he told the lawmakers.
He assured that the twin issues of armed robbery and kidnapping on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway were being addressed jointly by the Army and Air Force.
The Army Chief assured that its aviation arm was being reactivated to enable the Army tackle security challenges with more efficiency.
“In this regard, we have acquired two helicopters from the Transmission Company of Nigeria. We have added them to our platform and they will be rehabilitated and used for research,” Buratai said.
He appealed for the creation of a Special Intervention Fund to enable the Army procure equipment for better operational performance.
“Even though the budget has been made, there may be requirement for virement of funds because of shortage of funds needed for procurement of hardware equipment especially to tackle the challenges in the North East and North West.
“Procurement of platforms for the Armoured Corp also requires special intervention because with 100 per cent equipment capability, tackling insecurity will be enhanced and criminal elements wiped out,” he stated.
He added that more funds were needed to construct suitable accommodation for the officers and men of the Army.