The Nigerian Army on Friday inaugurated a special court martial to prosecute erring personnel engaged in the counter-insurgency operation in the Northeast.
The Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, said at the inauguration of the court-martial in Maiduguri that the court would enable the Armed Forces deal with matters pertaining to discipline, efficiency and morale of the military.
He said: “The safety and well-being of Nigerians depend considerably on the willingness and readiness of a force of men and women to defend against threats to national security.
“To maintain the Armed Forces in a state of readiness, the military must be in a position to enforce internal discipline effectively and efficiently.
“Breaches of military discipline must be dealt with speedily and frequently punish more severely than would be the case, if a civilian is engaged in such a conduct.
“The military has its own Code of Service Discipline to allow it meet its particular disciplinary needs.
“Emphasis shall be laid on portraying a fine blend of the traditional military regimentation with due adherence to fair hearing requirements of the 1999 constitution.”
Adeniyi lamented alleged indiscriminate cases of negligence and cowardice among soldiers in the ongoing campaign against insurgency in the Northeast.
He said: “It is worrisome to observe the increasing cases of negligence, lackadaisical and cowardly attitudes of many of our personnel during Boko Haram terrorist offensive actions across the theatre today.
“These unprofessional and disgraceful habits have led to the death of many of our gallant colleagues, and it must not be allowed to continue, if we must retain our national pride.
“We must not forget in a hurry where we are coming from, and we must change the situation. I urge you all to discharge your duties diligently without fear, favour or affection.”
Adeniyi reiterated the commitment of the army to end insurgency, protect lives and property in the country.
The judge advocate, Captain YM Bima, said that 20 military personnel are currently standing trial before the court for various offences.
Among them are six officers and 14 other personnel.
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