Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai said on Tuesday that troops of the Nigerian Army lack the commitment to fight Boko Haram insurgency.
He did not give reasons for the lowering of morale among the troops. But in a statement that should worry his commander-in-Chief, Buratai said those on the frontlines were displaying insufficient willingness to perform assigned tasks.
Lt.-Gen Buratai spoke at the opening of a “Transformational leadership workshop”, organised by the Army Headquarters Department of Transformation and Innovation at the Army Resource Centre, Asokoro, Abuja.
Describing the development as “unfortunate”, Lt.-Gen Buratai, said the theme of the workshop was apt as it would draw attention to areas that need to be addressed for professionalism, patriotism and national enthusiasm.
He located the “apathy” amongst the younger generation in the military.
“Many of those on whom the responsibility for physical actions against the adversary squarely falls are yet to fully take ownership of our common national or service cause. And this is the reason why I have always ensured that the promotion of army personnel is essentially based on professional considerations only.
“But we all know that professional capacity is not a sufficient condition to succeed in a task; willingness to perform the task is equally necessary. We all know that leadership is core to military professionalism; hence all military professional courses include aspects of military leadership skills acquisition.”
Buratai added that an effect of modernisation, globalisation and Information and Communications Technology in the last decades had been the “decline in nationalistic enthusiasm.”
“Hence the theme of the workshop has been aptly chosen as ‘Lead, follow or get out of the way,’” he said.
Buratai’s dampening remarks came barely four days after an insurgent attack on a market in Mandari community, Konduga Local Government Area, Bormo State, claimed 30 lives.