Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Minister of Defense, Brig.-Gen. Mansur M. Dan-Ali (rtd), on Thursday, said that the Nigerian Armed Forces under President Muhammadu Buhari has been strengthened by recruiting more than 20,000 personnel into NAVY, Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
The Minister, who was at the Passing out Parade (PoP) of Direct Short Service Course (DSSC) 27/2017, in Kaduna State, on Thursday, where 195 new cadets were added to NAF also reiterated that, the recently approved one $1 billion by President Buhari would be used to purchase arms and ammunition to fight insecurity which he described as emergency situation.
According to him, “When you improved the professionalism of the armed forces of the country, you are making it stronger and reliable.
“Here we are in a country where this type of recruitment was not done regularly. But within the past three years, we have recruited more than 20,000 across armed forces.
“By so doing, we have given employment to young Nigerians and we have strengthened the capacity and facility of our armed forces.
“If I am to put it in statistics, there was a time armed forced was downsized to 50,000 but within the past three years, we have been able to recruit more than 20,000 unemployed Nigerians and that number has ripple effect on the unemployed.
“So, this is one of the things the $1bn would be used for. We have not been able to acquire arms since 1982. All we have been doing is replacement. But now, we are going for massive purchase of arms and ammunition because the current security is in emergency situation. It has to be addressed squarely by having the right equipment and thay was why the amount was approved”, he added.
On the PoP he told the 195 cadets, who had successfully undergone six months intensive training to place national integrity, self discipline and hard work above personal interest in discharge of their constitutional responsibility.
He said, “you are passing out at a time when our dear country is grappling with insecurity and economic challenges. While government has done so much to degrade Boko Haram terrorists by limiting their capacity to launch coordinated massive attacks, there are other emerging national security threats such as herdsmen/farmers clashes and armed banditry which need to be decisively dealt with.
“You must subordinate yourself to civil authority and protect our fledgling democracy. You must know the limits of your freedom of association and expression which must be matched with responsibility to maintain national security.
“Avoid being used by disgruntled elements in the society to compromise national security or to act in a way capable of denting the good image of the service”.
He, however, urged them to maintain good civil-military relations because that was the key to unlocking solutions to the national security challenges.
DSSC is a basic military training of Military Training Schools developed for universities and polytechnics graduates usually drawn from disciplines such as Medicine, engineering, pharmacy, piloting, law, accounting an d education among others, covering both military and general service subjects.