Abuja, Nigeria - Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday decorated the newly-appointed military leaders with their new ranks, charging them to work assiduously towards ending the activities of the Islamic terror group, Boko Haram.
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Alex Sabundu Badeh was decorated with the four-star rank of Air Chief Marshall; Chief Of Army Staff, Kenneth Tobias Minimah (with three-star rank of Lieutenant General), Chief of Naval Staff, Usman Oyibe Jibrin (with the three-star rank of Vice Admiral) and Adesola Nunayon Amosun (with the three-star rank of Air Marshal).
President Jonathan, while admitting that the task of eradicating terrorism is enormous, asked the military chiefs to embrace inter-agency cooperation towards wiping out terrorism in the country.
Declaring that “none of us will sleep till the Nigerians in Borno state can sleep,' Jonathan told the military leaders that Nigerians are watching them and that they expect a lot from them as such they could not afford to fail in their new assignments.
According to the President, 'we must not fail this country and I believe this team will work together to be assisted by other intelligence services because the war against terror must be won. I have worked with some of you in one way or the other and I am convinced that we selected the right team to salvage this country at this time. You must not disappoint Nigerians.'
Responding, Air Chief Marshal Badeh noted that Nigeria is faced with a number of security challenges, the most prominent being the activities of violent extremists in the North East, illegal oil bunkering and other criminality in the Niger Delta.
Said Badeh, 'these security challenges are inimical to any meaningful development and accordingly, the Nigerian military and other security agencies are poised more than ever before to review and adopt more proactive measures to contain and defeat the enemies of our country so that Nigerians can go about their lawful activities in an atmosphere of peace and security.
'I want to remind us all that when a nation’s military is at war, it is the whole nation that is at war. Accordingly, we must all make sacrifices here and there so that more resources could be channelled to the prosecution of the war. The successful prosecution of any war or internal security challenges and subsequent restoration of peace and stability are crucial for any meaningful development to take place. The security challenges in the North East are surmountable, but we must all make sacrifices.
'Furthermore, I want to reassure the President and Nigerians that the unity and indivisibility of our country is paramount on our minds. The Armed Forces of Nigeria had fought once to keep this country one, and we are doing it again in the North East and are ready to keep repeating it. Therefore, we appeal to our compatriots to continue to support the Nigerian military in our efforts to keep the country united and to ensure security particularly in the North Eastern states where the state of emergency presently exists.'
The Defence chief said that “as the 2015 general elections approach, the Armed Forces is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that normalcy is speedily restored in the North East so that Nigerians in the affected areas can resume their normal lifestyles and also, so that elections will hold in those areas in 2015. Notwithstanding the current challenges, we remain resolute and with the help of our political masters, normalcy will be restored in the North East soonest.'