* Asks them to be accountable to Nigerians
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA — President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, charged the new service chiefs to synergize with other nation’s security apparatus and hunt down Boko Haram insurgents within the next three months.
The President said that would be the only way the new military helmsmen would justify the confidence reposed in them by his government.
In a brief but colourful swearing-in ceremony of the service chiefs at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari noted that the activities of the insurgents have claimed many lives and destroyed the economic lives of the people.
His words: “I want to reiterate that your appointments and subsequent elevation to these ranks are based on your pedigree as first class senior officers who identify sterling leadership qualities. Therefore, I have no doubt in my mind that all of you are equal to the task ahead of you. You must acquaint yourselves and justify the honour done to you.
“You are all aware of the various security challenges facing our nation. These challenges include the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, armed banditry, kidnapping, militancy of various forms to mention a few.
“The activities of these misguided groups and individuals have resulted in wanton destruction of lives and property of our citizens as a disruption of social economic lives of millions of Nigerians.
“The increasing incidence of attacks and destructions perpetrated by these insurgents have led to the deployment of various instruments of national power in bid to contain their activities and restoring law and order in every part of the country. Rightly, the armed forces have been in the vanguard of the fight against terrorism.
“While commending the efforts of the armed forces so far, you need to brace up and continue to team up with other stakeholders to come up with a well coordinated joint effort which will bring a desired end to these insurgencies within three months.”
Be accountable to Nigerians
President Buhari also charged the military to be accountable to Nigerians in the course of their duty even as he asked them to make judicious use of all resources in their care. He pledged his government’s readiness to provide all necessary tools for the anti-terrorism war.
He said: “In the course of carrying out this assignment, you must be accountable for all men and equipment placed under your command. Your troops welfare must be uppermost in your mind, take care of them and make available what is due to them. Concerted efforts should also be made to make judicious use of resources that are available to you in search for solution to these challenges.
“On our own part, we shall be ready to give you the needed resources to achieve this feat. You will recall I have been to several countries with the sole aim of canvassing for global support to eliminate terrorism from Nigeria.
“These efforts which include establishment of the multi-national joint task force should be complimented by you. You should, therefore, re-professionalise your force and give your troops creditable training so that they can perform their job creditably
“You should also ensure that they abide with the newly enforced rules and relations of international standards while carrying out their assigned tasks. In particular you must protect innocent civilians.
“This, no doubt, will bring the support of local communities and the respect of our allies and support of international community. Get back to work and make Nigerians proud.”
It will be recalled that the President, on July 13, appointed the new service chiefs including a new National Security Adviser, NSA. They were subsequently cleared by the Senate.
Speaking to correspondents shortly after the event, Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel, said they were committed to fight against terrorism.