…Says Army capable of defending Nigeria’s territorial integrity
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—THE Nigerian Army, yesterday, reiterated its loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, saying it would ever remain apolitical.
The Army also said it was capable of defending the territorial integrity of the country when threatened.
Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt General Tukur Buratai, who said this in his goodwill message to Nigerian Army Day interdenominational church service held at All Saints’ Military Church, Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja, insisted that the army, under his leadership, was not only totally loyal to the President but also committed to the sustenance of the country’s growing democracy.
To this end, he charge officers and men of the Nigerian Army to remain focused, disciplined and loyal to constituted authority while ensuring that they carried out their roles effectively.
He said: “I want to, on behalf of officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, reiterate our unalloyed loyalty to the President and Commander- In- Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Army will continue to remain apolitical while ensuring the sustenance of democracy.”
Buratai’s speech may have been an apparent bid to douse ongoing tension in the country, following hate speeches arising from alleged regional and religious imbalances in appointments.
The COAS, who said it was his desire to transform the army into a more potent and responsive force that will effectively curtail contemporary security challenges, hailed personnel of the army for what he described as display of selfless commitment in the ongoing fight against insurgency.
To this end, Buratai, who was represented on the occasion by Major General Chris Jemitola, Chief of Policy and Plans, Army Headquarters, reassured them that issues bordering on their training and welfare were being taken seriously.
He said: “We will continue to do our best to ensure the comfort of our officers and soldiers, including their families.”
He used the occasion to acknowledge and thank all officers and soldiers for their tireless contributions in making the Nigerian Army victorious in the fight against insurgents and in other internal security operations.
He said: “You have shown commitment, dedication, courage, resilience and the will to succeed. You have all done very well and I am proud to be your Chief of Army Staff.
“However, I will charge you to remain focused, disciplined and loyal to constituted authority while ensuring that we carry out our roles effectively.’’
While noting that the recently concluded Lenten season and Ramadan fast embarked upon by Christians and Muslims were not only spiritually rewarding and uplifting, he said the exercises offered an ”opportunity to uplift our spirit while renewing our commitment to the Nigerian Army and the nation at large.”
FCC boss lauds Army
In a related development, the Nigerian Army has been commended for strict adherence to federal character principles in its recently concluded recruitment.
Dr. Shettima Bukar Abba, Acting Executive Chairman of Federal Character Commission, FCC, who gave the commendation in an interview with journalists, yesterday, in Abuja, said the recently concluded recruitment of the Army was in line with his agency’s principles.
The recruitment, which took place in 12 centres across the country between May 27 and June 9, 2017, according to Abba, was in accordance with the principles of Federal Character.
The Federal Character Commission boss urged other agencies of government to emulate the Army in employing people into their services.