President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the the newly appointed service chiefs to deliver on their mandate to guarantee security in all parts of the country, especially before the start of the rainy season to enable farmers go back to their farms.
The president who spoke at a ceremony to decorate the new service chiefs with their new ranks at the State House Abuja, on Friday, ordered them to speed up their actions in freeing the country from the current state of insecurity.
He told the service chiefs to see their appointment, clearance and decoration as a vote of confidence on them, and gave them an assurance of his firm support as they delivered on their responsibilities.
President Buhari in his speech said: “During our four-hour security meeting, on Tuesday, I had taken the responsibility as Commander-in-Chief for you to go out into the field and secure the country.
“You have got a few weeks to do that because by the rainy season, we expect people to develop confidence and go back to the land, so that we don’t get into trouble by being away from the field and therefore unable to produce enough food for the nation,”
“For those (of you) that have been confirmed by this ceremony, the decoration, in front of your spouses, is a further confidence loudly expressed on you on behalf of the nation, to respond to the insecurity the country is in, and the nation looks up to you for rapid relief.
“I have accepted responsibility for your actions in the field; it’s up to you to identify your competent officers irrespective of seniority and paper qualification and deploy them to make sure that we secure this country.
“We all look forward to you to perform and I as the Commander-in- Chief, I am backing you hundred per cent, and I expect you to effectively deploy your officers and men to secure the country. ”
Speaking on behalf of the other service chiefs, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor assured the President of the commitment of the service chiefs to deliver on their mandate.
Irabor declared that Nigeria will have peace again, stating that the service chiefs will partner with all other security agencies in addressing all issues.
Security Watch Africa reports that Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru was decorated as Chief of Army Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo as Chief of Naval Staff and Air Marshal Isiaka Amao as Chief of Air Staff.
Reacting to a question that sought to know the role played by the Nigerian military in the recent negotiations that led to the release of the school children from their abductors, the CDS said: “Peace and security is not just the security of the borders alone. It comes with having to build bridges across various divides.
“We as members of the Armed Forces will never in any way demands peace and security of our nation in the hands of the terrorists. Rather it is we that will determine the peace and not for us to live it in the hands of the terrorists.”
Speaking on what Nigerians should expect in the next 100 days, Irabor said: “There is a matching order that Mr President has given to us and we will work assiduously to achieve that. No doubt, the next 100 days is not as important as today.
“ I believe that as members of the Armed Forces working in concert with the rest of the security agencies, we will bring Mr President’s expectations to bear in terms of our task. But let me also let you know that the inevitable is that Nigerians will indeed experience peace and security across the land.”
Revealing the next big step and whether there would be a change of strategies, the CDS said: “I’m glad you talk about the next big step. Nigerians expect us to bring about peace and security in concert with other security agencies, that we will do. We can’t live in fear. And we will ensure that whatever brings fear to Nigerians before now will be a thing of the past.
“Strategies are not sancrosant. Of course, there are dynamics that we need to begin to look at, what needs to be reviewed, and that is precisely what we are doing currently. And we review various strategies and of course come up with new ones to be able to meet the demands of the current realities.”