Abuja – President Goodluck Jonathan said on Wednesday that he, as Commander-in-Chief along with the new service chiefs, would work assiduously to ensure peace in the North-East region.
Jonathan, who made the declaration at the decoration ceremony of the newly appointed service chiefs at the State House in Abuja, said the new new military top brass must prepare for the arduous tasks ahead.
He charged them to work in harmony to win the war against terror. “I do not know whether I will congratulate you or I will sympathise with you because of the circumstances of the moment.
“That reminds me, when I was in secondary school, I read one article written by late Dr Tai Solarin and there is one clause he said ‘I wish you what I wish myself every year; May you have a hard time this year.
“So, I think I will wish you what I will wish myself every year; may we have a hard time this period.
“This is because, none of us will sleep until the Nigerians in Borno State can sleep.”That is why I say today is not a moment for making statements.
“We will be having talks from time to time but definitely Nigerians will tell you what they expect from us.
“We must not fail this country and I believe this team will work together to be assisted by other intelligence services because the war against terror must be won in this country,” he said.
The President congratulated the new service chiefs and their spouses and charged them not to betray the confidence reposed in them.
The high point of the ceremony was the decoration of the officers with their new ranks by the President, Vice President Namadi Sambo and their respective spouses.
Those decorated were the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshall Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear-Adm. Usman Jibrin and Chief of Air Staff, AVM Adesola Amosu.
Badeh, who responded on behalf of others, thanked the president and said they were aware that their appointment was a call to greater service.
He commended the president for respecting statutory provision by sending their names to the National Assembly for confirmation.
Badeh attested to the fact that the military had never had it better as in the civilian regime and pledged subordination to the constitution and elected government officials.
The CDS said they would work in harmony to fight the scourge of terrorism, kidnapping and oil bunkering in the country.
Badeh also pledged that the military would continue to defend the nation’s territorial integrity and ensure security and peace in the country.
“Security challenges are inimical to development because security means development and without development there can also not be security.
“When a nation’s military is at war, the whole nation is at war, therefore every Nigerian must sacrifice,” he said.
NAN reports that until his appointment as CDS on Jan. 16, Badeh, who was born in 1957 in Adamawa State, was the 18th Chief of Air Staff.
Minimah the new Chief of Army Staff was born in Rivers State in 1959; Jibrin, the new Chief of Naval Staff was also born in 1959 in Kogi State while Amosu, the new Chief of Air Staff was born in Lagos in 1958. (NAN)