By Deji Elumoye
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday met with the newly appointed Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja with a directive that they should rise up to the nation’s current security challenges.
The meeting was coming barely 24 hours after the new top military chiefs were named by President Buhari.
The new Service Chiefs, who were led to the meeting by the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd), were Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
A statement by the Media Adviser to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, said President Buhari charged them to be patriotic and serve the country well.
His words: “We’re in a state of emergency. Be patriotic, serve the country well, as your loyalty is to the country.”
The statement said the President congratulated the Service Chiefs on heading their various services, adding: “There’s nothing I can tell you about the service, because you are in it. I was also in it, and I will pray for you. I also assure you that whatever I can do as Commander-in-Chief will be done, so that the people will appreciate your efforts.
“You know the stage we were in 2015, you know the stage we are now, and the undertakings we made. We promised to secure the country, revive the economy, and fight corruption. None has been easy, but we have certainly made progress.”
The statement further said President Buhari charged the Service Chiefs to be concerned about the morale of their officers and men, saying they should be made to feel physically and professionally secure.
He pledged that government would do its best in terms of equipment and logistics.
Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, General Irabor explained that the President challenged the appointees to be alive to their responsibilities.
He said: “The message from the President is that knowing the current security environment we must do everything possible to add value to the security disposition and the expectations are high and that we are quite mindful of that expectations. So, we collectively, will work to achieve that.”
According to him, the new service chiefs would work to bring security to lives and properties.
He said: “We have just seen Mr. President and we are mindful of the demands. We can only at this stage pledge our utmost best to bring safety and security to lives and properties across the country”.
The CDS assured that the new top military echelon would ensure that value is added to the lives of citizens, saying: “On behalf of the Service Chiefs, I am assuring the nation of peace and security. We believe there will be value that will be added to the security disposition of the nation.”