Election: Remain professional, above board – COAS tasks officers

THE Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has urged officers and men of the Nigerian Army to remain professional and above board in their conducts during the March 18 elections.

Yahaya gave the directive at the opening of the 4th Career Planning and Management Seminar organised by the Army Headquarters Department of Military Secretary, on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Chief of Training (Army) Maj.-Gen. Sani Mohammed represented the COAS at the seminar with the theme, “Efficient Human Resource Management: Imperatives for a Professional Nigerian Army in the 21st Century”.

He said the seminar was organised to ensure efficient career planning to engender good leadership among officers.

This, he said, became very imperative in view of the involvement of the army in several operations.

According to him, significant changes in organisational and leadership have evolved globally, as such it is important for the military to improve approaches to career planning and human resource management.

This would ensure a balanced and rewarding career path for officers, he added.

Yahaya said the seminar was to create awareness and sensitise officers on new policies that might impact on their career and address other salient career planning issues for better understanding.

“As members of the armed forces, we should be mindful of the need to adequately prepare officers to operate in joint environment.

“And deploy them to positions where they can efficiently develop novel plans, processes, strategies to meet the changing nature of the battlespace.

“Therefore, it is imperative that we maintain momentum while motivating our officers and men through an efficient and balanced career planning process,” the COAS said.

He also emphasised the need for all army personnel to remain apolitical and professional.

The COAS said great efforts have been made “to ensure that the conduct of our officers and men during the polls remains professional and above board.

“I therefore urge you to uphold the highest professional conduct during this period.”

In his remarks, the Military Secretary (Army), Maj.-Gen. Jamil Abdulsalam, said the annual seminar was to ensure efficient management of the careers of army officers.

Abdulsalam said the department had overtime, observed that most officers within the mid level cadre treated matters of career with levity, often leading to unpleasant consequences.

He said that upward trend, where annual evaluation reports from formations and units as well as course reports from most army training institutions fell short of realistic reportage, had been of great concern.

According to him, the shortcomings are further compounded by the involvement of the army in wide range of operations and the resultant dearth of officers for deployment to key areas.

“All of these factors have significantly affected career planning and complicated the military human resource management approach of the Department of Military Secretary.

“Customarily, the department conducts sensitisation visits to Nigerian army formations and training schools, including operational areas to enhance officers’ understanding of the requirements for career growth.

“This forum offers a unique opportunity to have a convergence of seasoned resource persons and key players in the management of army officers careers to share experiences and update you on extant policies and provisions that may impact on your careers.

“The seminar will feature packages that will expose participants to contemporary approaches to military human resource management with a view to improve career planning at all levels.

“The issue of conduct and discipline, which remains a key consideration in the career planning process, as well as gender perspectives have been added to make the seminar wide-ranging, balanced and rich in context,” he said. (NAN)