The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday, directed the service chiefs to replicate—the kinetic and non-kinetic—methods deployed in quelling the violence in the Northeast, nationwide.
This was as he highlighted the regime’s acquisition of over 2000 military hardware across the Army, Navy and Air Force, describing it as “unprecedented in the past 38 years.”
“I have instructed the Service Chiefs to replicate the successes in the North East in other parts of the country,” Buhari said at the Passing out Parade and Commissioning Ceremony of Cadets of 69 Regular Course (Army, Navy and Air Force) of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement signed on Thursday titled ‘At commissioning of new cadets, President Buhari Lists ‘Unprecedented’ military acquisitions in 7 years, directs service chiefs to replicate north east successes.’
Buhari also commended the military for the safe release of the remaining 23 victims of the March 28 Abuja-Kaduna train attack on Wednesday.
According to him, although the military has recorded victories in the conflict inherited from past administrations, especially in the Northeast, the security challenges have evolved and assumed other dimensions in some areas.
“We have devised both military and non-military methods to intervene, and even rolled out an amnesty programme to rehabilitate repentant terrorists who surrendered and laid down their arms unconditionally.
“Our tasks as the guardians of the nation are to prepare for the evolving and complex security situations and make sure that no terrorists can threaten Nigeria’s sovereign integrity.
“In this regard, I have instructed the Service Chiefs to replicate the successes in the North East in other parts of the country, and I call on all Nigerians to continue to support our Armed Forces and security agencies,” he said.
The President, therefore, charged the military to continue the safeguard the economic and military capability of the nation and not to allow terrorists and insurgents to destroy the investments in key national infrastructure.
He highlighted the acquisition of military hardware of the past seven years of his government saying it is to safeguard and strengthen Nigeria’s security architecture.
“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 per cent and enhanced the serviceability rate of aircraft in the NAF inventory by over 70 per cent.
”In pursuing this same objective, the Nigerian Army has received more than 2000 units of various Armoured Fighting Vehicles, guns, and equipment. These are in addition to improved funding of the three Services along with other security and intelligence agencies.
”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,” he said.
On the release of the train victims held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists following the attack on the Abuja to Kaduna train on March 28, 2022, the President hailed the kinetic and non-kinetic approaches adopted by the military saying:
”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.”
To the graduating cadets, the President said there is no better time to prove their valour and demonstrate the virtues upon which the NDA was founded.
“I trust you to do so with uncompromising dignity and honour,” he said.
”You are required to replicate the social cohesion you experienced during your time at the Academy and be the unifying and incorruptible models of those you were trained to protect and bound by esprit de corps and love for your fatherland,” he added.
President Buhari also lauded the Commandant, staff, instructors, and gentlemen officer cadets for an outstanding parade, declaring that the nation would continue to count on their valour, and celebrate their willingness to serve their beloved country.
A total of 21 awards were presented to deserving cadets including the Sword of Honour and Gold Medal Award (Army) to Academy Senior Under Officer Nzubechukwu Nweze; Gold Medal Award (Navy) and Indian Shield (Navy) Award to Cadet Chinaecherem Anih; Gold Medal Award (Air Force) and Indian Shield (Air Force) Award to Cadet Ayomide Ogunjemniyi.