Mr President warns against human rights abuse by soldiers


President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, warned members of the armed forces against human rights abuse.

Buhari gave the warning at the combined passing out parade of    399 officer cadets of the 62 Regular Course and Short Service Course 43 of the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, Kaduna.

In his speech, he also acknowledged the bravery of the military in fighting Boko Haram, and said he was hopeful that the insurgents would soon be defeated totally.

The President said: “While I applaud the integrity and sterling record of the armed forces as an institution, this administration will insist on the rule of law, and deal with any proven cases of deviation from laws of armed conflict (LOAC), including human rights abuses. In operational conduct Nigerians expect our Armed Forces to keep law and order and not to behave like bullies.

“The objectives of our fight against terrorism cannot be realized without a credible and effective military.   On your shoulders therefore lies the mechanism to drive the junior leadership in our armed forces.   The armed forces of Nigeria have a world-acclaimed reputation for valour, resilience and loyal service.“Let me reiterate the administration’s renewed commitment to due process, merit and total observance of the rule of law as central pillars of a prosperous and democratic society.   Rule of law as an element of good governance applies to the Armed Forces as much as any institution in our country.

“It is therefore gratifying to note that recently all three Services have taken steps to not only emphasize on strict adherence to rules in area of recruitment, promotions, procurement, project executions, and more importantly, in civil-military relations”.

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