12 December 2012

Nigeria: Chief of Defence Staff Visits Maidiguri, Charges Members of Joint Task Force to Be Alert

The Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS) Admiral Ola Ibrahim, on Wednesday in Maiduguri urged personnel of the Joint Task Force (JTF) to be alert and abide by the "rules of engagement".

Ibrahim, who made the call when he visited the JTF, said, "Don't let down your guard, if you do, it will lead to harm. In a disorderly society, no progress can be made, you are here to restore order."

Ibrahim spoke after about one hour closed door meeting with the commander and other senior officers at the JTF headquarters.

He reminded the officers that they were playing very important role in the effort to restore peace to Borno and assured them of adequate support.

The Chief of Defence Staff urged them to protect law abiding people of the state, as well as their fundamental human rights to enable them carry out their lawful activities.

"The crisis you are managing here, there is international dimension to it, be courteous and polite to the people.

"Respect their rights and do not violate them, handle suspects in professional manner," he said. ."

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, who was on the entourage of the CDS, also charged the troops to be mindful of their activities, as they were being monitored by international organisations and the media.

"Be mindful of your activities as we are in a computer age," Abubakar said.

The entourage later visited Gov. Kashim Shettima and thanked him for his support to the JTF.

Ibrahim told Shettima that the situation in Borno was not only a challenge to the state, but to the entire country.

He urged youths in the state to channel their energy to productive ventures rather than the production of arms and destruction of lives.

Responding, the governor said he was not in support of the call to withdraw the JTF personnel from the state.

Shettima, however, said that human rights desks had been set up in the state Ministry of Justice to address complaint of abuses by personnel of the task force. NAN

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