On Army Day, Tinubu Hails Soldiers, Says Nigerian Army is Pride of the Nation

*Insists Nigerians must be safe in their homes, markets, highways

Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

President Bola Tinubu yesterday hailed the officers and men of the Nigerian Army, describing them as the pride of the nation for their resilience and professionalism.

Speaking at the grand finale of the 2024 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) held at the 3 Division of the Nigerian Army in Jos, Plateau State, Tinubu declared that the Nigerian Army had never failed the country.
Represented at the occasion by the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, the president told the Army that Nigerians must be safe in their homes, markets, places of work, and on the highways.

 Tinubu said: “There is no doubt, that you represent the pride of the nation; an institution with history; an institution that has never failed Nigeria.
“Your charge now is not only to protect your country but to do what is right and just at all times.

“The Nigerian Army remains one of the most patriotic and selfless elements of our nation. It embodies people who have volunteered, sacrificed, fought, and died so that the nation would live in peace. What can be more patriotic than to lay down one’s life for the sake of the nation?
“The Nigerian Army has made and continues to make huge sacrifices to keep us safe.

“Security challenges increased in the last decade and a half, the Nigerian Army has risen to the challenge to keep Nigeria safe.
 “l am aware that you are now deployed in all states of the Federation making sacrifices daily in a bid to secure Nigeria.
“To paraphrase Winston Churchill, never in the history of Nigeria, has so many owed so much to so few.

“As your Commander-in-Chief, my administration is committed to building a well-equipped, and truly professional army that will remain the pride of the nation.
“We are committed to providing you with all that you need to enable you to fulfil your constitutional responsibilities,” Tinubu said.

He recalled that he had approved the payment of Group Life Assurance for all members of the Nigerian Army who died in the line of duty.
“To heighten your combat efficiency and dexterity, I also approved the purchase of attack helicopters and other necessary equipment and combat enablers for you to carry out your assignments more proficiently and effectively.

“Judging from the excellent parade and the display I have watched this morning; I am convinced that the Nigerian Army has justified the trust reposed in them for the defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

“I feel proud as your Commander-in-Chief as I watch the array of equipment and your dexterity in handling them. I see the eagerness and pride on the faces of the young men and women as they showed their commitment to defend the country.

“We live in a complex and ever-changing world and our army must continue to evolve to meet the new challenges of the changing world. I am told that you spent a part of the Army Day Celebration holding lectures and brainstorming sessions on the evolving complex and uncertain security situations.
“It is good and proper that you did that so that you can be better prepared for the evolving challenges. As the world changes, our security architecture must also change to meet up with the new threats.

“Nigerians must be safe in their fields, on our highways, in our markets, and in their homes,” Tinubu explained, adding that the Nigerian Army is the backbone of the security architecture that would ensure this security.

“You must sustain the progress made so far, and evolve strategies to ensure that violent groups do not overwhelm peaceful and law-abiding Nigerians.
“As you take direct action against violent groups, you must remember to conduct yourselves in a manner to reflects your professionalism.
“I would like to encourage you to continue to work closely with your sister services, other security agencies as well as your fellow countrymen and women,” Tinubu added.

In his speech, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Taofeed Lagbaja said: “The Nigerian Army remains committed to its mission statement, which is ‘To Win all Land Battles in Defence of the Territorial Integrity of Nigeria, Protect Her National Interests and Accomplish other Tasks in Aid of Civil Authority.”
He said: “To this end, we are continuously engaged in preparing ourselves for this onerous duty by honing our skills and competencies for this task.
“The Nigerian Army under my watch is committed to improving our operational effectiveness to meet the ever-changing violent and complex threats to the nation,” Lagbaja said.

Lagbaja described the Nigerian Army as a highly professional and potent force of 161 years.
Speaking on the welfare of soldiers, Lagbaja noted the launch of the Affordable Housing for All Scheme (AHOOAS) aimed at providing subsidised housing for officers and men of the Nigerian Army.

He said: “Over 500 apartments have been built for the men and women of the Nigerian Army who have subscribed to the AHOOAS scheme, with a portion specifically reserved for soldiers disabled in the line of duty.”
He also highlighted the Army’s successful war against bandits, the crushing of Boko Haram terrorists drastically, and the reduction in the attacks on farmers by herdsmen.

With the acquisition of two helicopters and numerous battle enablers, the Army has successfully contained bandits’ activities in the North-west, reduced Boko Haram terrorism, and curtailed farmer-herder conflicts. We are focused on the ultimate goal of achieving the total elimination of all threats to our dear nation and its people within the shortest practicable time,” Lagbaja explained.

“We have completely aligned ourselves with the directive of the Commander-in-Chief, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that the Armed Forces and other security agencies should decisively deal with all security challenges facing the country.
“We will continue to conduct ourselves in a manner that reflects us as a committed and professional force,” Lagbaja added.

Related Articles