President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday vowed to end all forms of insecurity in the country before bowing out of office on May 29.
The President, who spoke from his country home in Daura, Katsina State, while virtually inaugurating 700 Ashok Leyland’s Troop-Carrying Vehicles assembled in Lagos, said his regime remained committed to winning the war against terrorism and other forms of insecurity and would stop at nothing to ensure citizens have a new Nigeria free from insecurity.
He pledged more support for the welfare of the military, while assuring that their labour will not be in vain.
President Buhari, who scored Nigerian security agencies very high, based on their performance during the polls last Saturday, said the sacrifices of the Armed Forces remain appreciated by Nigerians.
He said: “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.”
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, 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 said.
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 operations 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.
He said: “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.”
President Buhari affirmed that in the past seven years plus, 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 that supplies and welfare of the military would 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