By Idris Abbas,
President Muhammadu Buhari has commissioned ‘ARA’ locally manufactured Armoured Personnel Carriers during the Grand Finale of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2018 in Monguno, Borno state on Friday.
Present at the ceremony, alongside President Buhari were the Minister of Defence, Monsur Dan Ali, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. TY Buratai and General Officer Commanding 7th Division Maj. Gen. Olabanji.
While telling the soldiers and officers of the Army that he is delighted to be in their midst for the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2018, Buhari explained that he is particularly elated with the choice of Monguno in Borno state as the venue in Monguno, Northern Borno State as it is assuring to all Nigerians that the negative history which was associated with the North East in the past decade is now gradually becoming a thing of the past.
“In the last 3 years of this administration, we have worked tirelessly to ensure and preserve the dignity and sanctity of life. When I was sworn in as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I promised that this administration would tackle the challenges of Insecurity, poor Economy and Fight Corruption. We are all witnesses to the fact that our once battered economy as a nation has exited recession and is once again vibrant. Our nation is safe again, thanks to the efforts of our security agencies,” President Buhari said.
“This does not mean there are no challenges. There are pockets of violence in several states some deliberately instigated by disgruntled politicians who have lost all arguments and are desperate to cause mayhem as a way of seeking relevance. We shall fish them out and punish according to the provision of law.”
Buhari also gave assurance to the families of the remaining kidnapped Chibok girls still in Boko Haram captivity including Leah Sharibu, the only remaining Dapchi school girl also being held by the terrorist group.
“I want to use this opportunity to reassure the world, Nigerians and the families of the remaining kidnapped Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu of the Dapchi School girls that this administration will not relent in our efforts to see that they are all released. I also want to reassure all Nigerians that the issue of Farmers and Herdsmen clashes is being tackled and all those found culpable would be brought to justice.”
The President commended the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff and all other service chiefs for their role in leading our gallant troops to protect the country and its people. He said it is evident that Nigeria is now in the post conflict stabilization phase which was made possible by the good work of the Armed Forces.
“Today is a perfect opportunity for me to again sincerely commend members of the Armed Forces particularly the Nigerian Army for their role in the defeat of the Boko Haram insurgents and for the many sacrifices they have made in ensuring the safety of our great nation.
“I am aware that many have paid the supreme price in order to make us live without fear. To these gallant heroes, I say your sacrifices will never be in vain. May the Almighty God continue to grant them all eternal rest. To those that are in service, be assured that this administration will continue to support and provide you with the means to perform your duties efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, let me assure all our servicemen and women that the issue of their welfare is paramount to this administration.
“Basic infrastructure such as barracks accommodation, water, health and so many others are undergoing rehabilitation. I believe our gallant troops who give their all deserve the very best.
“I applaud the courage of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai for identifying the role and relevance of research and development to the advancement of the Army and the nation.
“Finally, let me use this opportunity to commend and congratulate all the award recipients for their outstanding contributions to the successes recorded by the Nigerian Army. I implore all the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to continue to discharge their tasks in line with the constitutional provisions. I congratulate you all for being a critical instrument of national unity, cohesion and integration,” the President said during his speech.
At the occasion, Buhari also called on all Nigerians to always be tolerant, loving and ready to give peace a chance.
The Nigerian Army Day Celebration, marked every year, showcases the Nigerian Army’s personnel and equipment as well as the combat capability of the Nigerian Army. It is intended to also celebrate the Nigerian Army’s achievements as well as emphasize the Army’s transformational strides in innovation, research and development, civil military relations and technological advances.
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