In what appeared as a renewed determination to tackle the various security challenges in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday decorated the newly appointed Service Chiefs with their new ranks, vowing that he would not allow the current security challenges confronting the nation to threaten his administration’s transformation agenda.
This was as he charged the Service Chiefs, whom he said were appointed in recognition of their “notable attributes of patriotism, excellence, loyalty, dedication, courage and unwavering faith in Nigeria”, to rise up to the challenge of tackling the insecurity head on.
The President was also quick to add that going by their inspiring antecedents; they would 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”.
According to him, the security of life and properties in all parts of this country was a sacred obligation that would not be compromised, saying he would not “allow threat to national security to compromise the administration’s national transformation effort.
His words: “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.
“In this regard, we will step up initiatives aimed at strengthening and repositioning our security agencies for greater efficiency to discharge their constitutional responsibilities”
He also paid tribute to the gallant men and women that fought for the preservation of our territorial integrity and the entrenchment of stability and security in our nation.
The President also assured of his administration’s continued support for the Nigerian Armed Forces by placing the welfare of its members in high premium. He therefore, charged the Chief of Naval Staff in particular, to step up policing of the country’s territorial waters, saying the issue of oil theft must be brought to an end soonest.
He said, “I will like to use this forum to specially charge you to rise to the many security challenges confronting our nation today. More specifically the Chief of Naval Staff along with his officers and men has the honorary responsibility of up scaling security in our territorial waters.
“The unacceptable rising incidences of crude theft must be tackled frontally. Even the direct adverse implication of the activities of crude oil theft on our national economy 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.
Speaking on behalf of the newly decorated Service Chiefs, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Admiral Ola Ibrahim thanked the President for her confidence reposed in them, assuring that they fully understand and mindful of the enormity of their responsibilities.
While commenting on the security challenges confronting the nation, the CDS, expressed confidence that the new Service Chiefs are up to the task of complimenting the effort of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika who retains his position.
“His words, “My colleagues and I equally appreciate (well) the enormous responsibilities our new positions have conferred on us. We are fully aware of the critical state of affairs and considerable security challenges facing our country, and which the Commander in Chief has confronted determinedly.
“Rest assured, Mr. President, of our own determination and commitment to dealing decisively with those security challenges. permit me, Mr. President, to attest to the unalloyed loyalty, dedication, high professional standards and competence of all your choices, these seasoned officers and gentlemen. Having known and worked with them at various times and at differing levels I have no doubt we will work closely and harmoniously to build on the gains of our predecessors.
“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,” Admiral Ibrahim pledged.
Present at the ceremony were Vice President Namadi Sambo, Secretary to the Government, Pius Anyim Pius, National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki, Ministers of Finance, Petroleum, Labour, Police Affairs, Niger Delta, Works, Chief Of Army Staff, presidential aides and spouses of the Service Chiefs.