Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has been handed the Boko Haram flag recovered from the terrorist group operational base in Sambisa forest by the Nigerian Army after last week raid.
The presentation was done at the 2016 Regimental Dinner organised by the Presidential Brigades of Guards, an annual event organised to mark the end of drilling year of the commission.
The flag was handed over of to Buhari at exactly 10.30pm on Friday by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. -Gen. Lucky Irabor.
Irabor disclosed that about 1,240 suspected Boko Haram terrorists were arrested during a mop-up operation by troops inside the Sambisa forest.
Speaking at the event, Buhari went down the memory lane disclosing how he was nearly shot even before he collected his first salary in the army.
The president said he was conversant with the challenges the military faced having experienced it first hand.
“I believe you are here because you want to be here and you cannot complain. We will do our best to build the national institutions in the country.
“All these political madness in the country where in the north east, the Niger Delta or in the East.. There are 250 ethnic groups, so keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done. So even for personal reason you must make sure this country stays as one and remains strong.”
Buhari told his audience that he enjoyed the 25 years he spent in the Army.
He reiterated why he resisted the devaluation of the naira and the increase in the price of petroleum products..
He recalled that he rejected similar advice by the IMF, World Bank to devalue the naira as a military Head of State, adding that “I refused and gave my reasons and the next thing I knew I was removed and detained for three and half years.
“As a civilian president I will do my best and I’m telling you all these because you are part of the leadership of this great country and God willing we will remain great”, he said.
Chief of Army Staff. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in his remarks said, aside providing security to the commander in chief, the brigade of guards also provide security for the FCT as well as other ceremonial activities.
He urged the men and women of guards brigade to maintain the courage and discipline in 2017.
He gave an assurance that the army would continue its onslaught in the North east.
The army chief said fleeing members of the sect who had disappeared into the society would be fished out.
He assured the president that the security situation in that part of the country would brought under control.
He also said the Nigerian Army would remain apolitical in carrying out its duties to the nation.