By Kingsley Omonobi
As the nation marches towards the 2011 elections, President Goodluck Jonathan has emphasised the need for all security agencies in the country to be vigilant.
President Jonathan noted that the eyes of the world were on us, hence â€œyou (security agencies) should remain resolute in your continued commitment to the much-cherished ideals of democracy.â€
Speaking at ceremonial parade and aerial display to mark the 46th anniversary of the Nigeria Air-Force, the President said, â€œAs we all know, maintenance of internal peace and security are necessary conditions for development, and the conduct of credible elections is what we must do to enhance it.â€
â€œThe eyes of the whole world are on us. We must not leave any stone unturned while ensuring that our collective resolve as a people to live in peace and harmony is not undermined. I, therefore, charge all security agencies in the country to be more dedicated and vigilant.â€
While commending the armed forces for their loyalty and commitment to defending the constitution since the return to democratic rule, Jonathan said, â€œAs a nation, we have had some internal security challenges; the situation in the Niger Delta, the â€˜Boko Haramâ€™ crisis and recently, the communal clashes in Jos.â€
â€While there may be a few challenges to be addressed, the pragmatic resolution of some of these crises certainly limited the wanton destruction of lives and properties. I commend the roles you have been playing to ensure that peace returns to these areasâ€.
On the Nigeria Airforce, the President said, â€œThe Airforce recently inducted some new platforms which will be officially commissioned. This occasion was chosen for a symbolic presentation of the F-7NI fighter/attack aircraft, the ATR-4 Maritime Patrol aircraft and the Augusta 109 Light Utility helicopter.â€
Continuing the President said, â€œLet me observe that funds necessary to rebuild the capability of the Nigerian Air Force may not have been fast in coming; however, the contemporary geo-political scene supports the fact that Nigeria is not the only country having these limitations. Yet, for any nation to survive, it must have in place an airforce that would continue to provide it with policy options internally and externally.â€
â€œWe are therefore, determined to play our part within the limits of our resources available to ensure that Nigerians have an airforce worthy of its vision and aspirationsâ€, the President concluded.