The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, has called on Defence Attachés of allied countries in Nigeria to close ranks with the Nigerian Army in identifying and tackling issues of mutual interest.
Lagbaja made the call when the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye led defence from 27 countries for interaction with the COAS on Thursday in Abuja.
He commended the attachés for their observations on issues of concern, and pledged to take necessary measures to address some of the issues raised during the discussion.
Lagbaja assured neighbouring countries of the commitment of the Nigerian army to continue to work on mechanisms that would curtail movement of cross-border criminals.
“We look forward to fruitful engagement with all other countries to deny criminal elements and dissident groups from incubating their nefarious activities abroad and bringing them home to perpetrate.
“I look forward to more avenues of engagement with all the DAs; we will try as much as possible to establish other social avenues, sporting avenues through which we can engage and interact.
“So that we can share ideas and experiences towards moving forward the relationship that exists between the Nigerian Army and the various countries that you represent.
“I want to promise you that the Nigerian army is disposed to continue engaging with your various countries. Lines of communications are open,” he said.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Intelligence said the engagement was the first of its kind, to enable the attachés discuss and interact in commonality, and present their concerns and challenges.
Undiandeye said the DIA was the convent and the interchange point of exchange and interaction with all defence attachés in the country.
He said that the meeting would afford them the opportunity to discuss issues that affect them individually and collectively.
The Defence Attaché of India, Col. Legha Romi, who spoke on behalf of the DAs, thanked the COAS for the combined interaction, which he said, had never been done before.
He therefore called for frank and constructive contributions during the meeting.
Romi said the attachés had been interacting with the DIA, Army and the other service headquarters over the years, but said the combined engagement was different.
He said it was an opportunity to learn from each other for the mutual benefit of their countries.