President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the newly appointed Service Chiefs to brace up for the responsibilities of safeguarding Nigeria’s territorial integrity, stressing that the country is currently in a state of emergency.
Buhari gave the charge during his inaugural meeting with the Service Chiefs yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Service Chiefs, who were led to the meeting by the Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), included the Chief of Defence Staff, Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo and Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao.
The President confessed that even though he promised to fight insecurity, corruption and revamp the nation’s economy, it has not been easy fulfilling those promises since he took over power in 2015. He charged the new security chiefs to be patriotic and serve the country well by deploying their wealth of experience to the fullest in the discharge of their duties. “We’re in a state of emergency. Be patriotic, serve the country well, as your loyalty is to the country.
“There’s nothing I can tell you about the service, because you are in it. I was also in it, and I will pray for you. I also assure you that whatever I can do as Commander-in-Chief will be done, so that the people will appreciate your efforts.
“You know the stage we were in 2015, you know the stage we are now, and the undertakings we made. We promised to secure the country, revive the economy and fight corruption. None has been easy, but we have certainly made progress,” he said.
Buhari cautioned them to be concerned about the morale of their officers and men, saying they should be made to feel physically and professionally secure while assuring that government would do its best in terms of equipment and logistics. Chief of Defence Staff, Maj-Gen. Irabor, who spoke to State House correspondents after the meeting, said they would work hard to secure the lives and property of the citizenry across the country. Irabor assured that they would ensure that value is added to the lives of citizens.
“We have just seen Mr. President and we are mindful of the demands. We can only at this stage pledge our utmost best to bring safety and security to lives and properties across the country. “The message from the president is that we, knowing the current security environment, must do everything possible to add value to the security disposition and the expectations are high and that we are quite mindful of those expectations.
So, we collectively, will work to achieve that. “On behalf of the Service Chiefs, I am assuring the nation peace and security. We believe there will be value that will be added to the security disposition of the nation,” he said.
The new Service Chiefs were appointed by the president following the ‘resignation’ of their predecessors on Tuesday. The Service Chiefs replaced former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin; former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.