Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, says the involvement of the army in operations to check insurgency, pipeline vandalism, cattle rustling, among others is stretching the force close to the limit.
Speaking on Wednesday at the inauguration of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre in Abuja, Buratai said the need to optimise the capability of the army to meet emerging security challenges could not be overemphasised.
He added that in conjunction with sister agencies, the military would rid the country of “criminal elements operating in the guise of militants, terrorists”.
“The Nigerian Army Resource Centre is a vision that is anchored on the need to ensure that the army does not only participate in the ground battle, but indeed under all terrain to ensure that our adversaries are defeated wherever they are,” he said.
“As you are aware, Nigeria faces sundry security challenges, but our main focus has been in counter-insurgency operations in the north-east.
“The Nigerian army has been involved in operations to check militancy, pipeline vandalism, armed robbery, cattle rustling and inter-ethnic clashes among others.
“These myriad of security challenges have stretched us close to our limits.”
Mansur Dan-Ali, minister of defence, commended the efforts of the armed forces in containing the security challenges, saying security remained top on the agenda of the current administration.
Ali urged them to sustain the tempo in the ongoing campaigns against contemporary threats across the country.
“I want to emphatically state that one of the top priorities of this administration is the enhancement of the armed forces to discharge their duties,” he said.
“We will continue to provide the much needed support to the armed forces of Nigeria to deliver efficient services and to effectively discharge their duties.
“I commend the commitment and zeal of the present leadership of the armed forces in tackling security issues across the country.
“I also appreciate the successes of the Armed Forces of Nigeria in the counter-insurgency operation in the north-east and urge you to sustain the tempo.”