The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, has tasked the Nigerian Army to move and crush the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.
General Olonisakin while speaking at the opening of the Combat Support Arms Training week in Lagos explained that the country’s security challenges are characterised by non-state actors, who exhibit deep intolerance for peaceful co-existence with other members of the society based on narrow ideologies, radicalism and outright criminal intent.
He said that these individuals and group have resorted to attacking innocent citizens, creating an atmosphere of fear and panic through acts of terror as well as insurgent activities against Nigeria.
His word: “These individuals and groups have resorted to attacking innocent citizens, creating an atmosphere of fear and panic through acts of terror as well as insurgent activities against Nigeria’s territorial integrity. It is therefore vital that the Nigerian Army continues to lead efforts in crushing such elements so that the nation may be safe and secure.”
General Olonisakin said that to consolidate on the successes against the insurgents and build peace, the military must continually concentrate efforts at addressing the drivers of the challenges in the first place, adding that the Nigerian Armed Forces are better positioned to totally end the insurgency in the North East and other criminal activities across the nation.
He explained that achieving success against the insurgents can only come through synergy and the cooperation of all the services, security agencies as well as other stakeholders, especially in the light that the right to live in a peaceful, safe and secure environment remains the inalienable right of every citizen of this country.
He called on all Nigerians, in the spirit of patriotism, to contribute to the efforts of combating the menace of insecurity in the society, especially as efforts at combating insecurity in Nigeria is a continuous engagement that requires a lot of sacrifices and to which Nigerians are ultimately committed.
The Chief of Defence Staff said that the Nigerian Army has continued to demonstrate its resolve to secure the territorial integrity of Nigeria from both internal and external threats, adding that “the combat support arms, consisting of the artillery, engineers, signals and intelligence will always have a role to play in support of the combat arms of the Nigerian Army towards achieving this mandate.
“In reality, the increased efficiency of these corps is an operations enhancer and a force multiplier for any army. The COSAT Week is therefore an avenue to boost professionalism as participants brainstorm and strategise to better support the combat arms in combating emerging security challenges in Nigeria. Hence, the theme of this year’s COSAT which is Enhancing the Efficiency of the Combat Support Arms in Tackling Contemporary Security Challenges is very appropriate.”
Earlier in his addressed, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai commended troops of the force for their efficiency in tackling the crisis in the North East and other parts of the country where they are deployed, noting that, the force has made giant strides in curbing various security threats since the dawn of the current administration.
He said: “We have not only consolidated on the gains established in the fight against insurgency in the North East, but have progressed to the stabilisation phase where all efforts are geared towards ensuring displaced persons return to their traditional homes.”
He praised the force for standing behind Nigeria’s unity, explaining that “this year, the Nigerian Army celebrates its 156th year of existence since its establishment as the Glover’s House in 1863.
“The choice of July 6 as Nigerian Army Day is due to the historical fact that the first shot during the Nigerian Civil War was fired on that day at Garkem back in 1967.
“The 30-months civil war was fought to keep Nigeria one with a lot of soldiers paying the supreme price in the process. Thus, NADCEL is a constant reminder of the sacrifice made by troops most of whom laid down their lives to ensure we remained united as a nation. Although times have changed and the challenges have morphed, yet the resolve of NA troops and its conquering spirit has waxed stronger and more triumphant. This is what we are celebrating today.”
He eulogised soldiers fighting in the various operation of the force around the country, pointing out that, “this year’s NADCEL is being conducted at a time when our soldiers are still fighting various evils bedevilling the nation on various fronts. A good number of our colleagues have over the years made the ultimate sacrifice in the process of keeping Nigerians safe. Many Nigerians have lost siblings, relatives or friends as our troops battled the enemy at the gate of our beloved nation. We honour these heroes and hold them in high esteem. They are the reason why we are alive and marching on to victory with teary eyes but with courageous hearts.”