Maiduguri — The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday in Maiduguri, Borno State, interacted with troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and asked them to tell him their challenges in the battlefields.
Buratai told the troops: "You're here to bare your minds openly to tell us where you are feeling the pains or shoes pinching you; how best you can administer, how best we can go ahead with our operations to achieve desired objectives.
"You've left your various locations, some of you are afar way as far as Rann, Malamfantori and Damasak. I say every unit must be represented. I want to believe this is what we have here today, so you are all welcome. Tell us what is bothering you and be rest assured we will find solutions to it; some, immediately and when we will go back to the Army headquarters, we will plan and re-strategize to see how best we can solve the problems you have.
"Some of you may not have the opportunity to talk probably to your commander directly, but today, you have the opportunity to tell me exactly what is paining you, where you think army needs to look into critically in the operation."
Buratai said the troops' welfare had improved compared to what it was in 2015, saying he was ready to do more on it.
"There are critical issues like welfare, equipment, general administration, logistics that all the commanders are aware of what we are doing, so you have an opportunity today to talk as professional soldiers to your Chief of Army Staff and nobody will prevent you from talking to me; whatever you say here, we will not charge you and you must tell us the truth, not lies, evidence and instances, if possible.
"These are issues that we must continue to tackle to ensure that you are properly equipped, properly kitted to enable you discharge your professional responsibility," he assured.
He said all issues raised by the soldiers would be treated, assuring that no commander would punish them for raising those issues.
Journalists were asked to leave the venue before the troops began to reel out their challenges to the army chief.