Buhari restates commitment to end insurgency, enhance security
Buhari gave the assurance on Wednesday at the inauguration of the 2018 Chief of Army Staff (COAS) annual conference in Maiduguri.
He said: ‘as president of the country, I am determined to ensure that every citizen feels safe and secure in all parts of the country.
“To achieve this, the security agencies must rise to the challenge and curb threats to security in our country.
“The Armed Forces play a critical role in safeguarding the country, hence you must all ensure that your plans and programmes meet the challenges we face.
“To this end, I am glad that this conference is holding at this time, because it serves as a platform to assess and evaluate your performance for the Year 2018.
“One of the cardinal objectives of this government is security.
“In this regard, the Nigerian Army’s efforts have led to the dislodgement of insurgents from areas hitherto viewed as their strongholds, rescue of abducted persons, return of Internally Displaced Persons and the gradual return to normalcy in the North East.
“The effort of the military has also stabilized the security situation in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country and curtailed the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.”
Buhari said that officers and soldiers fighting against the course of terrorism in the northeast deserved all the attention of the country’s leadership.
The president lauded the selfless sacrifices of the military to ensure peace and stability in the country, noting that there was remarkable improvement in the security situation in northeast.
“I am of course, aware that in the recent months and in recent days there have been some operational losses in the northern part of Borno State, particularly in Jilli, Arege and Metele.
“I know that you are doing your best to reverse this trend and I want to assure you that no effort will be spared in providing the necessary support you require to complete the task.
“We remain committed to ending the crisis in the North East and making the entire area safe for all. I urge you all to keep up the good work,” he said.
The president added that he was painfully aware that some gallant officers and soldiers had paid the supreme price in the course of anti-terrorist operations.
“It is a must win war, I want to encourage our troops not to be distracted by whatever speculations but to remain focused and committed to the task of eliminating Boko Haram from the face of earth.”
The president admonished the military and security agencies to live up to their responsibilities, remain non-partisan and vigilant throughout the electioneering period, to prevent violence that could disrupt the process in line with Rules of Engagement.
He also called on the military authorities to ensure that troops remained committed to the observance of International Human Rights Laws and Laws of Armed Conflict.
Buhari further lauded the military over its professionalism to unravel the perpetrators involved in the disappearance of late Maj.-Gen. Idris Alkali, assuring that the perpetrators would be brought to book.
The president reiterated his commitments to equip the military and improve welfare of personnel to enable it discharge its duties effectively.
Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno said that the state government would support the military and other security agencies to complement Federal Government’s effort in the counter insurgency campaign.
Shettima said that his administration would support the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and execute viable projects in the areas of education, health and economic empowerment programmes to alleviate poverty and end insurgency.
He noted that ecology and economic factors were among the underline causes of the insurgency due to the degradation of Lake Chad.
The governor stressed that the military had recorded significant successes in the counter insurgency campaign, degraded Boko Haram insurgents and restored peace in the state.
“Before the coming of this administration, you could not venture to go 10 to 15 kilometres away from Maiduguri, because a large swath of land was under the insurgent’s control,” he said.
Shettima commended Buhari and the military over their selfless service to the people, stressing that their sacrifices would be remembered.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by Minister of Defence, Maj.,-Gen. Mansur Dan’Ali (RTD), Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin, Sen. Ali Ndume and other top military officers.