- Demand loyalty, sacrifice from officers, men
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Amid growing concerns over the spike in insecurity in Nigeria, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, yesterday assured Nigerians that the Armed Forces were working ceaseless to secure the country.
They expressed the readiness of the military to secure the territorial integrity of Nigeria and to assist the federal government in protecting lives and property.
The service chiefs said the military would not allow any individuals or group to undermine the peace of the nation even as they demanded loyalty, obedience and sacrifice from military officers and men.
The duo spoke at different occasions yesterday while joining their officers and men engaged in anti-insurgency operations in the North-east to celebrate Eid-el-Kabir.
Abubakar, at a NAF luncheon in Adamawa to mark the Sallah celebrations, said Nigeria’s greatness could not be compromised, noting that the Armed Forces were working round the clock to secure the nation.
“Nigeria’s greatness cannot be interfered with by any individual or group of individuals. Therefore, as an air force and as members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, we will continue to work round the clock to ensure that our country is secured and no individual or group of individuals succeeds in undermining the territorial integrity of Nigeria,” he said.
Abubakar told the troops that they had a vital role to play in ensuring a stable and secured country where every Nigerian, irrespective of political, ethnic, regional or religious affiliation, would be able to express his or herself and pursue his or her legitimate aspirations.
He stated that although a few challenges had recently emerged, the service was working hard, along with other security agencies, to surmount them.
Abubakar appreciated the troops for their contributions and sacrifices in order to ensure that Nigeria and Nigerians are secured.
He urged them to work much harder to ensure that the country is safe.
He also charged the troops not to be distracted by the social media but to remain focused.
According to him, the NAF, alongside other security agencies, is making substantial progress in terms of dealing with the banditry in the North-west and would continue to work harder to ensure that security is brought closer to Nigerians.
He thanked the federal government for its support in terms of aircraft acquisition, reactivation of grounded platforms and unprecedented training opportunities for pilots and personnel of other NAF specialties.
According to him, “currently, we have 31 pilots that are training in different parts of the world. We have 12 in South Africa, 15 are in the United States of America and four pilots in Egypt.
“We are planning to send additional 12 pilots to the United Kingdom. With the recent graduation of 517 technicians from Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), it clearly shows that the federal government is giving the NAF all the support required to build sufficient capacity to be able to provide what is required in terms of deployment of air power,” the air chief added.
On welfare, the CAS said the NAF was addressing all the related issues for personnel and would continue to do so.
Abubakar’s counterpart in the Nigerian Army, Buratai, also spoke in the same vein while adding that the army has remained ahead of security threats in prosecuting the war against insurgency is working to keep the country secure.
Buratai spoke in Maiduguri when he celebrated this year’s Eid-el-Kabir with recuperating troops at the 7 Division Medical Centre and Hospital Services, Maimalari Cantonment.
Buratai, represented by Chief of Training and Operations, Maj. Gen. Enobong Udoh, said the Nigerian Army had lived up to expectations and urged officers and soldiers to be loyal, obedient and be ready to make sacrifice for national security.
He commended the sacrifices of troops in the ongoing operations across the country as they discharge their statutory responsibilities satisfactorily.
He added that their dedication to duty had ensured that the Nigerian Army remains the bastion of the country’s unity.
Buratai also paid tributes to troops killed during various operations across the country.
A statement by Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, quoted the COAS as saying that the Nigerian Army would continue to meet its obligations to their families to ensure that the void left by their loved ones is not felt.