The new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and other members of other service chiefs have been urged to increase their efforts in the current fight against terrorism in the country with a view to tackling the serious challenges rising therefrom.
This is as they were called upon by President Goodluck Jonathan, who congratulated them on their appointments, to focus on curbing the spread of crude of theft, otherwise known as bunkering which is affecting the economy of the nation in a negative way.
Jonathan, who decorated Admiral Ibrahim Ola Sa’ad, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba and Air Vice Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh with their new ranks, assured them that “you have held your appointment on the basis of your commitment to professional excellence, diligence and faith in a strong, stable and prosperous Nigeria. As you bring these worthy attributes to bear in the discharge of your onerous duties, you can assured of my full support at all times.”
Jonathan threw the challenges yesterday when he was decorating the new service chiefs at the State House, Abuja, prompting them to urgently bring their wealth of experience to bear on the issues that are confronting the nation.
Reiterating his administration’s commitment to the protection of the lives and property of the citizenry, the president said he is poised to fight all menaces emanating from the activities of terrorists and also nip in the bud all forms of criminalities.
He re-affirmed that the security agencies will be given more incentives to pursue their jobs diligently within the ambit of constitutional provisions of the land, as he paid tribute to the gallantry of the officers and men of the services who contributed immensely to advance the cause of government in ensuring a secure environment.
His words: “I assure you all of this administration’s commitment to provide you all the necessary support in ensuring the optimal operational readiness of our armed forces. While placing the highest premium possible on the welfare and well being of our men and women in uniform, they have demonstrated unalloyed respect for the institution and structures of democratic governance, in remaining steadfast and dedicated to their constitutional obligations.”
Jonathan specifically admonished that: “Chief of Naval Staff along with his officers and men has the honorary responsibility of up scaling security in our territorial waters,” pointing out that, “the unacceptable rising incidences of crude theft must be tackled frontally. I expect the Chief of Naval Staff and other serving Chiefs to immediately go to work to urgently bring the issue if crude oil theft to an end.”
“May I further reiterate that the security of life and properties in all parts of this country is a sacred obligation which our administration will do everything in its power to live up to. We cannot allow threat to National Security to compromise our National transformation effort. While we remain repositioning Nigeria for sustained growth and development, we shall proactively prosecute the fight against terrorism with total commitment and effectively check the activities of all criminal elements in our dear land,” he stated.
He congratulated the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, for retaining his appointment saying the other service chiefs were so “appointed in recognition of their notable attributes of patriotism, excellence, loyalty, dedication, courage and unwavering faith in Nigeria.”
He added that: “For each of them these ideals have marked their individual distinguished careers in the Nigerian Armed Forces. These fine officers and gentlemen are taking up command at a time when our nation is faced with serious challenges.”
He said: “Given their inspiring antecedent, however, and working in synergy with other security services, I am confident that they will bring fresh impetus into the new security architecture to combat the menace of terrorism in all its ramifications, across the length and breadth of Nigeria.”
“We must place on record pure gratitude to the gallant men and women of our armed services for their total commitment in defence of our unity, the preservation of our territorial integrity and the entrenchment of stability and security in our nation.”
He mentioned that Nigeria owes a huge debt of gratitude to Air Marshal Petirin the erstwhile CDS and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Umar, as “they have served our father land meritoriously with steadfast patriotism, unwavering gallantry and consummate dedication. They have both eloquently optimised the motto of the Nigerian Airforce: Willing Able and Ready.”
In his remarks, the new CDS, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim expressed gratitude to the president pledging, on behalf of the service chiefs to arrest the climate of insecurity in the nation.
“My colleagues and I equally appreciate (well) the enormous responsibilities our new positions have confered on us. We are fully awarelf the critical state of affairs and considerable security challenges facing our country, and which the Commander in Chief has confronted determinedly,” the CDS said.
He assured that his team will deal decisively “with those security challenges,” support the president to provide a stable polity and “deepen our democracy and enthron the rule of law in our country.
Appreciating the commitment of the apex government to transform the Armed Forces, Admiral Ibrahim said: “My team is committed to ensuring the judicious management of the human and material resources of the Armed Forces. I assureMr. President that working together, we shall bequeath our great country the Armed Forces she deserves, transformed and positioned to meet emerging security challenges.”
“I reassure Mr. President of our resolve to live up to his expectation and the confidence reposed in us. I categorically pledge the continued and unalloyed loyalty of the Armed Forces to the President and Commander in Chief. The Armed Forces under the collective leadership of the services chiefs and me, will sustain the extant high standards of discipline, patriotism and professionalism.’
“Permit me Your Excellency, Mr. President to appreciate and to thank all dignitaries present at this occasion. Your esteemed presence is reassuring and higly appreciated. I also appreciate the contributions of our colleagues retired and serving. Obviously without their contribution’s we would not have been where we are today. Finally, Mr. President, let me equally acknowledge and appreciate our spouses and families. Without their support we would likewise not be here today. And thanks be to Allah who makes all things well.”