President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday in Kaduna expressed full confidence in the ability of the Nigerian Army to protect the territorial integrity of the nation, particularly in the ongoing war against terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
In a statement, Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s spokesman, said Buhari made his feelings known at the Combined Passing Out Parade of the Cadets of 67 Regular Course and Short Service Course 46 (Army) at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.
The president, who was the Reviewing Officer, said the loyalty and patriotism of service personnel must be sustained and strengthened, appealing to all Nigerians to uphold and project the unity of the country.
He assured that the Federal Government will increase manpower and improve training to meet the changing dynamics of security in the country.
Buhari said: “Despite our obvious differences, we must strive to ensure that our actions and utterances are aimed towards strengthening our democratic framework.
“We must subsume our personal and sectional interests to the overall national aspirations of unity, economic prosperity and good governance.”
Buhari noted that the nation is passing through a time of great need for cohesion, peace and unity.
He commended “the resilience and steadfastness of Armed Forces personnel for their professionalism and bravery in tackling the menace of terrorism, insurgency and armed banditry in the North East and North West zones as well as herders/farmers conflicts, kidnapping, piracy and communal clashes in other parts of our country.”
He also restated his administration’s will to support the operations of the Armed Forces in the defence of the nation.
”Just recently, I approved the increment of manpower intake into the three services in order to cater for the deficit of personnel being experienced.
“Additionally, the Federal Government will sustain the provision of adequate modern equipment, logistics and infrastructure needed to support the operations of the Armed Forces.
“These no doubt will enhance the preparedness of the Armed Forces to meet contemporary security challenges, especially with innovations in the field of warfare, Information, Communications and Technology,” he added.
According to him, the federal government remains focused in the fight against insurgency, armed banditry and other forms of criminality across the nation.
He said: “We remain committed to ending the security challenges bedeviling the country.
”I am confident that the training received by these cadets has adequately equipped them to face any challenges in their line of duty.
“The broad contexts to which these prospective officers will be deployed is complex, fluid and dynamic. Thus, you will have to keep pace with these ever changing challenges.
“Gentlemen Officer Cadets, a successful completion of a rigorous and demanding task of this nature undoubtedly infuses you with a sense of self-esteem, efficacy and accomplishment.
“Furthermore, it lifts your spirit and leaves you with conviction that with commitment and dedication you would successfully accomplish future tasks that will come your way as officers of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Let me now remind the graduating cadets of the need to be committed to the nation by taking your rightful place among your peers in the Armed Forces of our country.”
The president said all the accomplishments in national security was made possible by the untiring efforts of the military and other security agencies.
He, therefore, urged the graduates to join their senior colleagues in the field and contribute to the defence of the country.
“With the quality of training you have received, I am convinced that you will discharge your duties professionally and responsibly.
”I can say without ambiguity that the future holds promise for our national defence and security.”
Buhari commended the Commandant, officers, men and academic staff of the Nigerian Defence Academy for their dedication to duty and determination to run the course despite the peculiarities of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“I note that despite the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy has remained focused and committed to its core mandate of training officer cadets.
”I therefore, commend the Nigerian Defence Academy Council for its steadfast performance” noting that since its establishment in 1964, the NDA has continued to train young Nigerians for the Armed Forces to discharge their role of protecting the territorial sovereignty of the nation.
“I have been made to understand that the Academy, in furtherance to enriching its training curriculum, recently took cadets on a tour of frontline communities in the North East Theatre of operations. ‘The tour was to keep the cadets informed of the challenges of real battle scenario and to boost their combat readiness.
“As a retired General, I can say with all sense of responsibility that I am encouraged by the excellent work invested in the training of these officer cadets for service to this great nation and humanity in general,” he said.
The president said it had been a challenging year for all nations in the world, and Nigeria had recorded her index case of COVID-19 in February, adding that “this administration has proactively responded to the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic by helping to prevent further spread and taking necessary appropriate measures.
“In addition, government has taken positive palliative measures to cushion the adverse impact of the pandemic through people-oriented policies.”
Buhari also appreciated the parents and guardians of the young men and women for taking the bold steps of ensuring that their wards enrolled into the military. (NAN)