President Muhammadu Buhari has saluted security agencies and service chiefs for their courage and bravery in promoting peace and order in Nigeria.
Buhari, who extolled the agencies on Tuesday in an address at the opening ceremony of Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC), told the public that with the full cooperation of citizens, more could be achieved in bringing law and order to various parts of the country.
“Security is not just a military concern, but a challenge for all Nigerians. No matter the amount of money invested in military operations, without the support of the people, display of patriotism and preparedness for everyone to be ready to take ownership of securing our environment, success will be limited.
“Consequently, we must look beyond the military and the security agencies for enduring solutions to the security challenges we are facing”, he said.
President Buhari said the administration had put in place measures to adequately support the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in terms of modern equipment, boosting the manpower of all security agencies and financing their operations in Nigeria and other international assignments.
“We have equally, recently, put in place a National Development Plan (2021 – 2025) covering medium and long-term plans, with a vision to make Nigeria a country that has unlocked its potentials in all sectors of the economy for sustainable, holistic, and inclusive national development.
“We will in this regard be building a thriving and sustainable economy while improving access to quality education, enhancing social inclusion as well as expanding infrastructure among several others. All of these desirables can only be achieved in a peaceful and secure environment’’, he added.
The President said security outfits in the country deserved commendation for the efforts in tackling issues of banditry, kidnapping and terrorism.
His words: “I am proud of the achievements of the security agencies in dealing with issues of terrorism, insurgency, banditry and the so-called unknown gunmen in the North West and other parts of the country.
“These issues and challenges are being professionally handled by the Armed Forces and other security agencies with improved intelligence operations and effective collaboration in the Armed Forces and other agencies.
“For this, I commend the Chief of Defence Staff, the Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police and all other agencies that have been toiling day and night to ensure the safety of lives and property.”
Buhari assured Nigerians that the issue of kidnapping that had bedevilled the country in the recent past was being tackled with all seriousness.
“We have zero tolerance for kidnapping, especially of school children and we shall deal with such outrages decisively. The disruption of our educational system and economic activities will not be tolerated.
“I have directed that all cases relating to security breaches, economic sabotage and wanton destruction of lives and property across the entire nation be immediately addressed.
“Let me add here that the Armed Forces have been deployed in virtually all states of the Federation to combat any security challenges”, he said.
The President noted that the National Security Strategy 2019 was very clear on all issues related to safety, with the need for individuals, private sector, civil society groups, media, politicians, traditional institutions and government functionaries to key into the endeavour.
According to him, “This is the time to enhance Corporate Social Responsibility and giving back to the society.’’
The President said policies and strategies at all levels of governance must be properly coordinated and implemented to ensure Nigerians all over the country and in Diaspora had a sense of belonging, with focus on family, socio-cultural, ethical values and proper upbringing of children.
“We must also develop our future leaders to effectively take over from us. Above all, we must harness the strength in our diversity to ensure a cohesive and forward-looking nation.
“The Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC), has brought forth all of these at this National Security Seminar. I therefore commend the President of the Alumni Association and his team for their acts of patriotism, support for nation building and bringing their experience acquired in Service over the years to bear on enhancing national security, peace and development.’’
While urging the AANDEC to keep up the efforts, President Buhari said, “We will continue to support the Association and I also call on all the security agencies to tap into the rich experience of AANDEC membership to enhance our security and nation building.
“I look forward to a comprehensive report with actionable recommendations just as in previous occasions, to support the efforts of the Government. With the calibre of resource persons here, I have no doubt that the Seminar will be successful.”
In his remark, the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), praised Nigerians for their resilience in the face of challenges, adding that security outfits should also be aware of the rights of citizens.
The Minister noted that the government would keep supporting the military in ensuring promotion of peace and order.
The President of AANDEC, Air Commodore Darlington Abdullahi said there was a need to change the narrative of the country, adding that Nigerians had made indelible marks in their various fields of endeavour, and greatly impacted on the global economy.
Abdullahi said the efforts at re-orientation must be deliberate, starting from schools and other public institutions, and it must be sustained, with focus on values that bring honour like respect for national symbols, diligence, honesty and integrity.