John Adams, Minna
As Nigerians prepare to go to the polls in less than 30 days from now, former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, has urged the Nigerian military to ensure that it remains apolitical and face its constitutional responsibility of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
Gen. Babangida said the Nigerian military should rather use its professional skills to involve a new strategy to confront callous terrorists who have continued to hold many parts of the North East, and by extension Nigeria to ransom.
Gen. Babangida in a statement in Minna on Monday which personally signed to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration, pointed out that, “it is pertinent for the top echelon of our military to speedily evolve new combat strategies to bravely confront the callous terrorists who have continued to hold many parts of the North East, and by extension, Nigeria to ransom.”
He said this had become necessary because the army is undeniably a professional military establishment that has over the years achieved remarkable successes in protecting the nation’s territorial integrity.
According to him, “as we prepare to celebrate this year’s Remembrance Day, we should not be oblivious of the fact that our military is presently faced with horrific challenges in the crucial counter-insurgency war, and activities of other blood-thirsty armed groups. To say the least, these ugly circumstances are not only heartrending, but unacceptable.
Babangida maintained that it was high time “we seek to consolidate our gains and also fortify our combat strength.
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“Every year, our valiant armed forces majestically roll out their drums to honour our fallen heroes, with streams of organised fascinating events coming to a climax on 15th January,” adding that “the 2019 edition of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day is coming at a critical period when the teeming Nigerian electorate will go to the polls next month to elect their new leaders at various levels of government.
“In recent times, elections have tested our unity as a people, while also posing threats to our socio-cultural diversity and challenging our common destiny.
He, therefore, paid special tribute to some of the country’s gallant troops who have been incapacitated while at the theatre of war in the restive parts of the country.
“I salute the uncommon bravery of our lion-hearted fallen heroes who paid the supreme price in their quest to defend our fatherland.
“Let me also commend our armed forces for their resilience over the years in maintaining peace in Nigeria, United Nations Missions, African Union and regional interventions. I urge all Nigerians to support our military at all times.
“While identifying with the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces on the momentous occasion of this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, I wish all Nigerians Happy New Year,” he stated.