• Nigeria won’t break up, says navy
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Buratai has said the Nigerian Army would remain apolitical in the discharge of its duties for the sustenance of democracy.
Buratai pledged the army’s loyalty to the democratic government at an Inter-Denominational Church Service to mark the annual Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) with the theme “Sustaining the Successes of the Nigerian Army in Tackling Contemporary and Emerging Security Challenges” at the weekend in Abuja.
Represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Maj. Gen. Chris Jemitola, Buratai noted that the Nigerian Army had achieved a lot in the fight against insurgents and other internal security operations, promising that it would continue to do all it could to consolidate on the successes achieved thus far.
“I want to use this medium to acknowledge and to thank all officers and soldiers for their tireless contributions in making the Nigerian Army victorious in the fight against insurgents and in other internal security operations.
“You have shown commitment, dedication, courage, resilience and the will to succeed. You have all done very well and I am proud to be your Chief of Army Staff.
“On this great occasion, I want to, on behalf of officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, declare our unalloyed loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Army will continue to remain apolitical while ensuring the sustenance of democracy,” he said.
The COAS said it was his desire to transform the Nigerian Army into a more potent and responsive force that will effectively curtail contemporary security challenges, stressing that the issues of training and welfare of its personnel would be taken seriously.
According to Buratai, the army would continue to do its best in ensuring that all officers and soldiers, including their families, are well taken care of. He urged the officers and soldiers to remain focused, disciplined and loyal to constituted authority in ensuring that they carry out their roles effectively.
“This is very much in my vision which is to have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles. Let us all continue to give our best in the discharge of our duties to our fatherland,” he said
Buratai prayed for the officers and soldiers who paid the supreme price in the course of serving their fatherland.
Besides,the General Officer Commanding, 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Chukwunedum Abraham, at an interdenominational church service to mark the NADCEL 2017 at Christ the King Military Catholic Church, Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment, Ibadan, Oyo State charged officers and men on the essence of deepening the nation’s democracy which he said was very important to protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the nation.
“It is very important that we stick to those roles and only those roles that we have been mandated constitutionally to do for our fatherland,” he stated.
Gen. Abraham said the significance of NADCEL was to remember the establishment of Nigeria Army and to remember soldiers and officers, who paid the supreme price in protecting the nation. “That is why it is very significant at this time, especially with the fight against terrorism and other kinds of crimes within our shores.”
Abraham noted that every July 6 was chosen to celebrate Nigerian Army Day because on July 6, 1967, the first shots to keep Nigeria united were fired at Garkem near Ogoja in the northern boundary between Nigeria and Biafra.
The army offered free medical services in Lokoja to mark the 2017 NADCEL.They also cleared the drainages and swept some major streets around Ganaja Road, Adankolo and Paparanda Square.
The team was led by Maj. Michael Bokos, a Regimental Medical Officer at the Medical Reception Station, Army Records, Lokoja.
Bokos told newsmen that “It was a way of showcasing ourselves to the general public that we are civil-friendly and also to interact with our communities in terms of security, sanitation, healthcare.”
Also at the weekend, the navy assured Nigerians that the country would not break up despite raging agitations.
The outgoing Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command (FOC), Rear Admiral James Oluwole, who gave the assurance in Calabar at his sent-forth, stressed that the country would continue to stand together as one because it derives its strength from its nationhood.
He said: “Nigeria will not break, some of these agitations are just from people who want to express themselves, the kind of expressions that we have experienced even at the political level.”
The new FOC, Rear Admiral Victor Adedipe promised to tackle the challenges facing the waterways.
The state’s Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs. Rosemary Osikoya commended the army for the initiative and solicited more community services in the future.