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CDS rues denigration of military, urges support for anti-terror war

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Group donates N100m items to armed forces

THE Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Vice Marshal Alex Badeh Wednesday called for synergy with the civil populace in information sharing and logistics, just as he lamented the denigration of the military by some individuals and groups in the fight against insurgency in the country.

   Badeh spoke in Lagos at the donation of over N100 million worth of drugs and food items by the Association of Pharmaceutical Importers of Nigeria (APIN) to the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), in support of their campaign against the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.

   Speaking at the event, which witnessed the presence of many military chiefs, Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii and members of APIN, Badeh noted that a war against insurgents is not a war for the armed forces alone, but that of the entire nation and as such, needs the input of everyone for total victory and eradication of the terrorists.

   He confirmed that the armed forces over the past weeks have been making tremendous gains in the fight against Boko Haram, inflicting heavy human and material losses on them and reclaiming captured communities.  According to the CDS, these gains are made possible by the support received from the Federal Government through the re-equipping and re-arming of the military with latest and sophisticated weapons. He expressed disappointment that some section of Nigerians have turned their faces away from the good work they are doing and are only spreading falsehood and questioning the integrity of the military.

 His words: “This event today is highly significant, as it clearly manifests the support that the members of the armed forces continue to enjoy from well-meaning Nigerians as they continue to fight to restore peace in the North East and other trouble spots within the country.

   “It has been a tough and very challenging campaign. However, I am happy to state that in the past several weeks, our forces have continued to rout the terrorists and reclaim large areas of territories hitherto occupied by them. This is in addition to inflicting heavy human and material losses on them and freeing many kidnapped innocent civilians in the process. 

   “These successes have come largely from the increased support of the Federal Government which has enabled the AFN re-arm and re-equip appropriately to confront the challenges posed by the insurgents. 

   “As part of our overall strategy for tackling insecurity in the country, we have repeatedly called for synergy with the civil populace, especially for support and vigilance in reporting the activities of suspicious elements and the movement of insurgents. This is borne out of our strong conviction that the war against insurgents is not war for the armed forces alone. As I have always said, when the military is at war, it is not the military alone that is at war, rather, it is the entire nation. Accordingly, all instruments of national power, ranging from the diplomatic, informational, military and economic are employed to ensure that threats to national security are contained and defeated. In addition, the support of the generality of the populace and friendly members of the international community gives added impetus to the military to conduct successful operations.”

   Badeh noted that “While many Nigerians and indeed corporate entities like yours (APIN) have identified with the military and continue to support us, a few but vocal minority have continued to denigrate the military and cast aspersions on our efforts to defeat and successfully execute the ongoing fight against terrorists. Some go to the extent of collaborating with foreign enemies, and some international media to publish falsehood about the ongoing operations, all in a bid to disparage the country and the military. When we say that we have recaptured a town, they say they need a proof to believe what we said, but when the terrorists say they have capture a town, they believe them hook and sinker.

   “Let me remind such unpatriotic Nigerians that this is the only country that we have and the AFN is the only military we have. Therefore, the Nigerian military must not be seen as the enemy.

   “But despite the antics of such unpatriotic elements and the enemies of our dear nation, the AFN is focused and will not be deterred as we fight to rid our nation of the surge of terrorism. Our determination to succeed in the ongoing operations is borne out of the overwhelming support that we continue to enjoy from the Federal Government, individual Nigerians and corporate organisations like APIN, who have even gone further in their support of the anti-insurgency operations to donate drugs and food items to the military in recognition of the key role that adequate logistics play in successful operations.

   “This gesture shows that the association is made up of highly patriotic professionals who recognize that the war against insurgency can only be brought to a speedy conclusion by the collective effort of all Nigerian citizens.”

  APIN President, Nnamdi Obi, said that the donations constituted the association little way of appreciating and encouraging the officers and men of the armed forces who have recorded tremendous success in the fight against insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country.

   He listed the donated items to include N70million worth of drugs that cut across various therapeutic classes- antibiotics, antifungal, antimalarial, antihelminthes, heamatinics, among others; 150 bags of rice, 1200 cartons of instant noodles, chips worth over N10million and 1000 cartons of cracker biscuit worth around N2million.

   The NAFDAC DG hailed the action of the association, describing it as “patriotism at play”.

   Having certified the products donated by APIN and confirming that they are genuine pharmaceutical importers, Orhii urged other Nigerians to identify with the military officers whom, he noted, lose their lives to keep the country safe. He said that it does not matter the size of what one is giving, but the impact it is making in the lives of those who are at warfront and the contribution one is making in the safety of the whole nation is what matters. 

 



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