The Chief of Army Staff, Lt,-Gen.Tukur Buratai, on Friday announced the upgrade of the Nigerian Army 20 Battalion in Serti, Taraba, to a special unit for military regimentation and training.
Buratai made the disclosure while fielding questions from newsmen during his visit to the headquarters of the battalion in Gashaka Local Government Area of the state.
He said that heightened security situation along the Nigeria-Cameroon border and the imperative of entrenching professionalism in the Army necessitated the upgrade.
Buratai said that the Army headquarters would provide the required logistics and post more officers and soldiers to improve the status of the unit.
“This battalion is a unique one in a unique location, so we will make efforts to ensure that this status is maintained.
“We are making it a model battalion where we have full compliments of a unit at all times that will be well drilled in regimentation.
“We will immediately address the accommodation needs of personnel in this unit and more troops will be posted to this unit.
“Henceforth, young officers that pass out from the Defence Academy will be moved to this unit for regimentation training,” he said.
Buratai said the Army was leveraging on the near perfect terrain in Serti, which, according to him, is conducive for training and the building of the soldiers’ regimentation.
He said the authorities were working on reviving old practices that entrenched discipline and professionalism in the military.
“This is a very good ground for young officers in regimentation which will make them real professionals and that is what we are striving to achieve.
“We want to return to the practice where young officers and soldiers build a strong background in regimentation.”
Earlier at the Emir of Gashaka’s palace, Buratai solicited the support of the public to enable the Army secure the area.
He urged the community to remain vigilant and report suspicious activities as more terrorists escape from their Sambisa enclaves.
On his part, the Emir of Gashaka, Alhaji Mohammed Sambo, commended the effort of the military in securing the community.
He said that the people of the community and soldiers at the 20 Battalion barracks enjoyed cordial relationship.
Sambo assured the Army chief of more cooperation and support of the community.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buratai is the second Army chief to visit the unit after retired Lt, – Gen. Martin-Luther Agwai in 2001. (NAN)