Abuja — Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen Onyeabor Azubuike Ihejirika has said that come 2012 there would be automatic promotion for all rank-and-file members of the Nigerian Army who have served up to 10 years in the force.
He said that since coming into office last year over 11,000 soldiers in all ranks except warrant officers and master warrant officers have so far been promoted in the ongoing army transformation action plan, adding that WO, MWO promotion would also be released early next year.
He lamented, however, that it was not readily possible to promote all soldiers due to stipulations in the approved guidelines of the service even as he promised that those soldiers who are found fit for promotion would be among those to be considered for elevation in the coming year.
"We are looking at the possibility to increase promotion for all soldiers next year. Of course, all things being equal there would be more promotion in the coming year, 2012. We will also make sure that all officers of this brigade would be issued with a vehicle for purposes of improving logistics.
"Of course, the purpose of this visit, which is my first visit to the brigade since assuming office last year, is to assess every logistics issue that would assist you to do your job well", he said.
The army boss made the pledges yesterday during his maiden visit to the Guards Brigade Headquarters in Abuja to assess all issues of logistics that would aid the brigade in carrying out it assigned duties.
He commended officers and men of the brigade for their loyalty, dedication and commitment to duty amid daunting challenges, and promised to do all he could within available resources to assist members of the brigade in their work.
Fielding questions from journalists at the end of the visit, Ihejirika said that the army had had a challenging experience which had enabled the service to learn more about the new terrorist phenomenon in the country.
He assured that the army is equal to the new terrorist challenges especially, during this time of Christmas adding that his army had a terrible encounter with Boko Haram on Thursday in Damaturu, Yobe State which left about 50 members of the Islamic sect and a few soldiers dead.
He said, "We destroyed their stronghold and Boko Haram lost a lot of men and as I speak the number of their dead is about fifty. I know that by this time tomorrow the dust would have settled in that city".
Speaking on personnel accommodation, the army chief revealed that he had completed a transit camp in the nation's capital which would be commissioned in early January to ensure that soldiers do not sleep in the streets when they come to Abuja on duty.
According to him, he has also completed three blocks of houses for warrant officers, and would complete, in two weeks from now, some 20 blocks of houses and about 38 flats at the Musa Yar'Adua Barracks which was started by his predecessor.