BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
ABUJA – New Defence minister, Major General Godwin Abbe (rtd), took over the mantle of leadership today with a declaration that he was in the ministry to surmount and ruthlessly deal with challenges that may threaten the peace and security of the country whether within the country or outside.
Abbe made the declaration just as he promised that together with his minister of state, the Chief of defence Staff and Service Chiefs, we will work in the spirit of brotherliness, guts, sweat and courage to take on the responsibility of taking the armed forces forward.
His words, â€œThere is so much expectation from the Armed forces. We (new ministers) are here to consolidate the gains of the victories Nigeria has had since the establishment of the Armed forces.
If there are challenges within or outside, we will address those challenges as ruthlessly as possible and surmount any problemsâ€.
Describing the handing and taking over ceremony between him and Dr. Shettima Mustapha as â€˜historicâ€™ in the process of evolution of our great country, Gen. Abbe said, What is constant in human life is change, therefore I want to congratulate the former minister for the confidence he enjoyed from Mr. President during his time as defence minister.
â€œAs we change seat today, we are sure to continue from where they (former ministers) have stopped; to evolve the finest fighting outfit Nigeria can have. And like I said, it will be done in the spirit of brotherhood, guts, sweat and courage in the sole interest of the country at large.
Emphasizing that Nigeria at this period in her history needed just a few good men to lead at all times, Gen. Abbe promised, â€œThat is exactly what we are going to doâ€.
Earlier, former minister, Dr. Mustapha expressed gratitude to God for seeing him and his minister of state, Ademola Seriki through the ministry saying, â€œWe have been here seven months but I feel I have spent seven years because the officers and civilian staff have given me their full support.
Today, even though I never served in the armed forces but wore only the uniform of the boys scout, I can distinguish between the AK 47 and the GPMG.
â€œI am also leaving this ministry a happy man because I believe I am leaving you in good hands. Abbe is a General, so the place is a familiar terrain. In terms of attitude, understanding of the intricacies of defence, he is more qualified to run this placeâ€.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Goni-Aji and Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, on behalf of the military and Civilian staff, pledge the full cooperation to work assiduously with the minister to ensure he achieves his set objectives.