By Ben Agande
ABUJA— President Goodluck Jonathan, Monday, urged the leadership of the country’s armed forces to deal decisively with the twin challenge of terrorism and crude oil theft by bringing up new ways to arrest the menace.
President Jonathan, who spoke while decorating the new service chiefs, said his administration will continue to give adequate support to members of the Armed Forces to ensure that they discharge their responsibilities creditably.
He said: “I will like to use this forum to specially charge you to tackle the many security challenges confronting our nation today. More specifically the chief of naval staff with his officers and men have the honourary responsibility of up-scaling security in our territorial waters.
The unacceptable rising incidences of crude theft must be tackled frontally. I expect the Chief of Naval Staff and other serving Chiefs to immediately go to work to urgently bring the issue of crude oil theft to an end.
“May I further reiterate that the security of life and property in all parts of this country is a sacred obligation, which our administration will do everything in its power to live up to. We cannot allow threat to national security to compromise our national transformation effort.
While we reposition Nigeria for sustained growth and development, we shall proactively prosecute the fight against terrorism with total commitment and effectively check the activities of all criminal elements in our dear land.
“In this regard, we will step up initiatives aimed at strengthening and repositioning our security agencies for greater efficiency to discharge their constitutional responsibilities.”
He also noted that the newly appointed officers and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ehijerika, who retained his appointment, were appointed in recognition of their notable attributes of patriotism, excellence, loyalty, dedication, courage and unwavering faith in Nigeria.
Jonathan said: “For each of them, these ideals have marked their individual distinguished careers in the Nigerian Armed Forces. These fine officers and gentlemen are taking up command at a time when our nation is faced with serious challenges.
“Given their inspiring antecedent, however, and working in synergy with other security services, I am confident that they will bring fresh impetus into the new security architecture to combat the menace of terrorism in all its ramifications, across the length and breath of Nigeria.”
“In my capacity as your Commander-in-Chief, I assure you that you have held your appointment on the basis of your commitment to professional excellence, diligence and faith in a strong, stable and prosperous Nigeria.
“As you bring these worthy attributes to bear in the discharge of your onerous duties, you can be sure of my full support at all times.”