President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration will ensure that the Nigerian Armed Forces are well equipped to enable them discharge their responsibilities both internally and globally, while also alerting them to the sensitive nature of today’s media environment.
In a speech delivered on his behalf by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at the graduation ceremony of the Senior Course 37 of the Command and Staff College in Jaji on Friday, President Buhari promised that “I will like to assure you that our administration will not relent in equipping the Armed Forces to firmly address all forms of threats that may arise both in peace and war.”
Besides, the Vice President also visited the National Defence Academy, NDA, in Kaduna, where he met some of the Nigerians who escaped or were rescued from the Sambisa forest base of Boko Haram terrorists.
At the graduation ceremony in Jaji, President Buhari reminded members of the Nigerian Armed Forces, that they have “a principal role to play in protecting the lives and property of our citizens from all forms of internal or external threat.
He noted that while the civil police continues to be primarily responsible for internal security, “the scale of the current security challenges facing our nation requires the military to play a more decisive role in support of civil power.”
The President asserted that the Nigerian military must remain apolitical and neutral in performing its constitutional role, stressing that the military has made good progress in the war against terror, even though faced with contemporary security challenges that were not envisaged some decades ago.
Warning members of the Armed Forces to be generally mindful of “today’s highly sensitive media environment,” the president observed that some of the new graduates of the College would be deployed in crisis prone areas inside or outside the country.
To them, he said “you must be conscious of your actions, given that we live in a common global environment.” But he added that there is no doubt that the quality of training “you have received has adequately prepared you to confront current threats to national and global security.”
Commenting on the international composition of graduates and participants in the course at the Command and Staff College, President Buhari said praised other African nations that nominated candidates for the College.
He said such action, “enhances the ideals of African governance integration for regional cooperation vital for collective security and development of the continent.
For instance, he restated that fact that under the auspices of the Multi National Joint Force of neighboring countries and Nigerian forces, “we are progressively winning the fight against Boko Haram.”
Describing the College as a “prestigious institution,” he also noted that the federal government “will also continue to ensure that this College gets the type of support that it deserves.”
A total of 174 officers drawn from 7 African countries including Nigeria graduated on Friday, at the ceremony attended by service chiefs, College officials and the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.
Osinbajo who stood in for the President as the Guest of Honor at the graduation also visited a center at the NDA where those recently rescued and escaped from Sambisa forests where being “de-radicalized.”
A total number of 307 persons including women and children are based at the center receiving instructional, medical and psychological rehabilitation services.
Addressing them, Prof. Osinbajo said, “President Buhari wanted me to greet you and to say that he thinks about you everyday and about your welfare. And he wants to know that you are doing very well and that you are strong and that you are well taken care of.”
He added that “I pray that all of you would be well, to work and all the young people here will be able to go back to school. That is the message I have for you from President Buhari. God bless you all.”