Less than a week after the conduct of both the Presidential and National Assembly elections across the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has scored the security agencies high based on their performance during the polls.
Speaking in his country home, Daura in Katsina state on Friday, the President said sacrifices of the Armed Forces remain appreciated by Nigerians and ommended the patriotic role they played in maintaining law and order at the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
President Buhari, who spoke while virtually inaugurating 700 Ashok Leyland Troop Carrying Vehicles assembled in Lagos, pledged more support for the welfare of the military, while assuring that their “labour will not be in vain’.
According to him: “I wish to commend the resolve of our armed forces towards the defeat of insurgency and its support in maintaining law and order as was demonstrated in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“I want to assure you all that your labour will not be in vain. The Administration will continue to support you in every respect, including improving your welfare”.
The President said the war against terrorism and criminality in the country will be sustained, and boosted with supplies of hardware and better care for the security outfits.
“Moving forward,’’ he said, “I charge you to consolidate on the gains we have achieved, towards sustaining the peace and stability of the country.’’
“Let me firmly assure Nigerians that the Federal Government remains steadfast and committed to winning the war against insurgency and other criminalities. Surely, the Federal Government will not rest on its oars until Nigeria and indeed Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora are free from the menace of terrorism and other forms of harm,’’ the President added.
President Buhari noted that the vehicles would increase the capability of the Armed Forces, especially their combat efficiency levels.
“I am pleased to be invited here today as the Special Guest of honour at the commissioning of the 700 Ashok Leyland Troops Carrying Vehicles, procured by the Federal Government of Nigeria. These vehicles, I understand, were assembled by Stallion Motors Limited at Ojo, Lagos.
“This is an important milestone in the annals of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, especially the troops engaged in operation in various theatres. This demonstrates the commitment and importance the Federal Government attaches to the fight against insurgency, criminalities and welfare of personnel,’’ he noted.
President Buhari said the activities of non-state actors and transnational criminals had impacted the overall security architecture of the nation, noting that the threats were not peculiar to Nigeria.
His words: “These threats are not peculiar to Nigeria alone, they have impacted negatively on global, regional and sub – regional peace and security environments, giving rise to massive continental immigration, internally displaced persons and grave humanitarian crises for nations to grapple with.
“Consequently, most governments employ varying degrees of hard and soft power elements to curtail this prevailing insecurity”.
In the past seven years plus, President Buhari affirmed that the Federal Government was able to revitalise the Armed Forces for the full restoration of Nigeria’s territorial integrity that was once violated by the Boko Haram insurgents and other forms of criminalities in the country.
He said: “Some of you may recall that in my inaugural speech as president, I promised to put an end to Boko Haram insurgency which hitherto had posed a grave threat to Nigeria’s territorial integrity. In fulfilling this promise, I made professionalism and capacity building of the armed forces a major security policy thrust of my administration.
“Training and the acquisition of brand-new platforms and other supporting equipment for the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies were intensified. The procurement process of military hardware was simplified, thereby removing inefficiency and corruption. This was in practical fulfilment of my promise to re-professionalise and adequately equip our military so they could effectively discharge their constitutional responsibilities”.
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), said security of the country remains top priority for the government, and supplies and welfare of the military will be sustained.
Magashi explained that the procurement of the vehicles followed Executive Order Number 5, while highlighting the partnership between the private sector and the military, which had translated into delivery of better equipment for more precision and efficiency of security operations.
He noted that the company had also offered training of the engineers of the military on usage and maintenance.
Magashi appreciated the President for his interventions in ensuring a repositioning of the Armed Forces, with massive acquisition of hardware, like jets, ships and patrol boats, and providing a dynamic and exemplary leadership.
Deji Elumoye in Abuja