President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Service Chiefs to stop new challenges to the sovereignty of the country and duplicate the accomplishments made in the battle against insurgency in the North-East, across the entirety of Nigeria. He added that the extraordinary purchases of military systems and hardware over the previous few years had contributed to the results. The order came while the President was address the Cadets of the 69 Regular Course (Army, Navy, and Air Force) of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) during their commissioning ceremony and passing-out parade in Kaduna.
He enumerated the extensive and methodical purchases made by his administration in just seven years, claiming that they were unmatched in the 38 years the Nigerian military had existed. In addition, Buhari praised the military for ensuring the safe release of the remaining 23 victims of the March 28 train attack in Abuja and Kaduna. “As President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…,” the president told the cadets that it was a privilege to preside over the 69 Regular Course’s passing-out parade one more time.
“The country was at a crossroads when this government took office in 2015. Bombs were detonating with alarming regularity; even in our cities. And we were brought in to deal with the problem. This administration has, since coming on board, procured over 550 naval platforms; out of which 319 have been delivered, as part of the aggressive fleet recapitalisation of the Nigerian Navy. We have also increased the number of Nigerian Air Force platforms by more than 38% and enhanced the serviceability rate of aircraft in the NAF inventory by over 70%. The Nigerian Army has received more than 2000 units of various Armoured Fighting Vehicles, weapons, and equipment in order to further this similar goal. These come on top of the three Services receiving better funding, together with other security and intelligence organizations.These comprehensive and systematic acquisitions within 7 years are not only unprecedented in the past 38 years, but they also align with our pledge to safeguard and strengthen the security architecture of our country.
“Although this is not a forum to introduce you to the military hardware you are stepping out to inherit, it is imperative to identify the magnitude and complexities of conflicts surrounding us. We must gird up for the dimensions this fight has reached. While recognising that our measures have had results and we are ever grateful for the sacrifices of members of the Armed Forces.
The president praised the military’s use of kinetic and non-kinetic methods to address some of the nation’s security issues. “This feat was not achieved without our military, as the interventionist Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee set up by General Leo Irabor was at the centre of the development, along with sister security agencies. I say Bravo to our soldiers, officers and gentlemen,” he said. Restating the commitment of the Armed Forces under his command to fulfil the promise to neutralise Boko Haram terrorism in the North East, the president pledged his administration would not relent in resettling and rehabilitating the victims of the tragedy.
“We have developed both military and non-military methods of intervention, and we even launched an amnesty program to rehabilitate terrorists who have repented and fully surrendered. Our responsibilities as the nation’s protectors are to be ready for changing and complicated security scenarios and to ensure that no terrorists may endanger Nigeria’s sovereignty. I have given the Service Chiefs instructions to replicate the victories in the North East in other regions of the nation in this regard, and I urge all Nigerians to continue supporting our Armed Forces and security services,” he said.