The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has called for a stronger military-civilian relationship in the country.
Delivering a lecture at the Capacity Building and Retreat at the National Defence College, Abuja, General Buratai, stressed the need for a mutual relationship between the military and civilians.
Represented by Major General Muhammed Idris, Chief Civil-Military Affairs, the Army Chief unveiled the Military-Civilian Relations, MCR, which he called a paradigm in military engagements in Nigeria.
He identified a lack of trust and confidence in the military, the civil populace who view the military with suspicion and disdain and modern military operations which according to him takes place in complex environments among the major causes of the rift between the military and civilians.
The Chief of Army Staff emphasized that Communication, transparency, mutual responsibility, cooperation, understanding, respect, trust, sensitivity towards culture, religion and gaining influence through such positive engagements in local affairs and activities are among the many issues that could bridge the gap between the military and civilians.
General Buratai added that as a means of building strong ties with the people, the military had taken steps to provide some succour to communities where military engagements take place.
According to him, such projects as roads, boreholes, medical outreach, meeting with traditional rulers, religious leaders help to renew confidence and restore the Nigerian Army and project them in a positive light.
He called on the National Assembly to come up with more legislation that will help strengthen the mutual relationship between the military and civilians and ensure that practical measures are taken to prevent abuses and ensure that law provides practical means through which remedies may be sought for alleged violations.
The Chief of Army Staff urged the Military-Civilian Relations department of the army to engage the Federal, state and local governments, the MDAs, NGOs, field Commanders, and Civilian sectors in their efforts to find a lasting solution to improving the relationship between the Armed Forces of Nigeria, other security agencies and civil actors in winning the hearts and minds of the civil populace during all operations both internal and external.
He solicited the support of members of the National Assembly and urged members of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence who also attended the capacity and retreat to help sensitize their colleagues on the unique roles of the military in safeguarding the country.