President Bola Tinubu says he will continue to provide the military with the necessary support to keep the trouble makers of the nation at bay.
Speaking at the 2023 Chief of Army Staff annual conference in Maiduguri, Borno State, on Monday, the President said he would continue to provide all support to ensure the security of lives and properties.
Mr Tinubu, who acknowledged the Nigerian Army’s commitment to national security, asked the army to remain non-partisan but vigilant in upholding democratic principles as a guardian of constitutional order during elections.
“The professional conduct of the Armed Forces during the elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States underscores your role as a guardian of our constitutional order and democracy precepts. In this regard, the Nigerian Army must remain completely non-partisan but vigilantly pro-democracy.
“We also note with great satisfaction the many civilian-military projects across the country, some of which will be commissioned during this Conference.
“These projects not only bring the military and civilian population into closer affinity and mutual understanding, they also serve the practical purpose of tangibly improving the living conditions of the people,” the President said.
Citing the recent procurement of new aircraft as a testament to his resolve to upgrade national defence capability, the President also affirmed his administration’s commitment to advancing the ongoing modernisation process within the military, with a focus on improving mobility, communications, and offensive striking capabilities.
The President, while expressing the nation’s gratitude for the service and sacrifice of the armed forces, recalled his earlier approval of N18 billion in Group Life Assurance benefits for families of fallen heroes.
He pledged continuous government support for the welfare of serving personnel and their families.
The minister of defence, Badaru Abubakar, said the President’s new approach to empowering the force and enhancing intra-military collaboration has led to a substantial increase in the morale of the armed forces.
“Mr President, you are a man of your word. Your Renewed Hope Agenda assured Nigerians of progress in the fight against insecurity. The men of the armed forces are more committed than ever before. They see the progress they are recording.
“They know the damage they are inflicting on our enemies. They have high morale. Our enemies do not because of your leadership. Thank you, Mr President,” the minister said.
He pledged to sustain his support for the Nigerian military in the provision of infrastructure while acknowledging the unalloyed commitment of Mr Tinubu’s administration to investments to enhance the operational capabilities of the military.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, informed the President that ongoing military operations in different parts of the country have significantly weakened criminal elements.
He said that it has also checkmated the farmers-herders crises in various parts of the country.
“Notwithstanding these achievements, we recognize the importance of continuous evaluation and this conference will be instrumental in formulating long-term strategies to bolster our ability to carry out our constitutional responsibility in the year 2024,” the army chief said.