President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday reminded members of the Armed Forces to protect Nigeria’s democracy and subject themselves to civil authority.
The President gave the charge at the pipping of the 65th regular cadets of the Nigeria Air Force held at Military Training Centre, NAF Base Kaduna.
Newsmen report that Buhari was represented by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar.
“You must subordinate yourself to civil authority and protect our growing democracy.
“Also, you should be vigilant and guard your utterances and conducts at all times.
“You should always remember that good civil-military relations is key to addressing some of our national security challenges.
“You must therefore guard against over zealousness and resist the temptation to brutalize the civil populace.
“Your duty is to protect all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic background or religious inclination,” Buhari said.
He cautioned the cadets against succumbing to any inducement or acts that would cause disaffection among members of the Armed Forces.
“You must protect the Nigerian Constitution while remaining absolutely loyal to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he added.
Buhari commended the leadership of NAF for providing specialised training to the cadets, the first time in recent past.
The commander-in-chief therefore charged the cadets to display professionalism, discipline, loyalty and hard work in the course of their service.
He stressed that being in the military “is much more than just securing a job, especially at this crucial point in our national life where we are battling with the challenges of insecurity.
“You must be aware that you are expected to secure lives and property by ensuring that every Nigerian lives in peace and is free to pursue his or her legitimate aspiration.
“Such a noble service demands extraordinary courage, commitment and patriotism and Nigeria will continue to count on you and indeed, demand such qualities from you.
“You are graduating at a time when our dear country is grappling with security challenges especially those posed by Boko Haram and militancy in the Niger Delta.
“Also, there are other emerging national security threats such as herders/farmers clashes and banditry which the Government is dealing with decisively.”
Buhari assured all Nigerians that the government is taking all necessary measures to safeguard lives and properties and stem out all forms of criminality across the country.
“NAF and indeed, the Armed Forces is currently at the forefront of the government efforts to rid the nation of these criminal elements and restore normalcy.
“I therefore, urge all of you to be prepared to play your part diligently in defending the territorial integrity and the values as well as aspirations of our great country.”
Buhari said in line with the current realities, the NAF has re-ordered its priorities in optimal use of resources, and expressed satisfaction for measures it took to engender transparency and accountability as well as maximize utilization of equipment and resources.
“I want to charge all of you to be prudent and do more with resources provided and to embrace the policy of zero tolerance for corruption.”