KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY DAY CELEBRATION 2018
6TH JULY, 2018
I am delighted to be in your midst today on this special occasion of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2018. I am particularly elated with the choice of the venue for this year’s celebration here in Monguno, Northern Borno State.
2. The choice of this venue is very noteworthy and assuring to all Nigerians that the negative history which was associated with the North East in the past decade is now gradually becoming a thing of the past. We are aware of the effects of Boko Haram insurgency on the livelihood, economy and security of the North East people.
3. I am very much aware that this year’s week long celebration began on Friday, 29th of June and is culminating today 6th July, 2018. This year’s celebration is designed to show-case Nigerian Army’s personnel and equipment as well as the combat capability of the Nigerian Army.
4. I am also aware that this occasion is intended to celebrate Nigerian Army’s achievements and also to emphasize the Army’s transformational strides in innovation, research and development, civil military relations and technological advances.
5. Furthermore, today’s event has provided the military operation codenamed Operation LAST HOLD opportunity to show-case its skills. This fusion of a full scale military operation with this year’s celebration is a novelty which clearly supports the professionalism in the Nigerian Army and has afforded most of us the opportunity to understand what the Army goes through on daily basis.
6. This year’s celebration is very much in line with this administration’s three (3) cardinal policies which are security, economy and anti-corruption. The theme chosen for this year’s celebration is “The Nigerian Army and National Security: a Panacea for Nigeria’s Economic Development” is very apt and will offer much needed solutions to the overall security architecture of our nation.
7. In the last 3 years of this administration, we have worked tirelessly to ensure and preserve the dignity and sanctity of life. When I was sworn in as the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I promised that this administration would tackle the challenges of Insecurity, poor Economy and Fight Corruption.
8. We are all witnesses to the fact that our once battered economy as a nation has exited recession and is once again vibrant. Our nation is safe again, thanks to the efforts of our security agencies.
9. This does not mean there are no challenges. There are pockets of violence in several states some deliberately instigated by disgruntled politicians who have lost all arguments and are desperate to cause mayhem as a way of seeking relevance. We shall fish them out and punish according to the provision of law.
10. I want to use this opportunity to reassure the world, Nigerians and the families of the remaining kidnapped Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu of the Dapchi School girls that this administration will not relent in our efforts to see that they are all released. I also want to reassure all Nigerians that the issue of Farmers and Herdsmen clashes is being tackled and all those found culpable would be brought to justice. Let me quickly remind us at this point to always be tolerant, loving and ready to give peace a chance.
11. As I said yesterday during a courtesy visit by members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Northern Chapter, None of our religions or cultures accepts killing of people for any reason whatsoever. We must all rise as one to condemn these vile and wicked acts to ensure that all the culprits are brought to justice.
12. Its gratifying to hear on daily basis the progress of our gallant troops as they carryout clearance operations along the fringes of Lake Chad Waters and Northern Borno. Members of the Boko Haram insurgents now surrender willingly in their numbers to our troops.
13. I am happy to also inform Nigerians that all other forms of security challenges in other parts of the country are being tackled by our security agencies accordingly.
14. May I commend the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff and all other service chiefs for their role in leading our gallant troops to protect the country and its people. It is evident that we are now in the post conflict stabilization phase which has been made possible by the good work of the Armed Forces. I therefore task all other relevant government agencies with immediate effect to begin to perform their respective roles in this post stabilization phase.
15. Today is a perfect opportunity for me to again sincerely commend members of the Armed Forces particularly the Nigerian Army for their role in the defeat of the Boko Haram insurgents and for the many sacrifices they have made in ensuring the safety of our great nation.
16. I am aware that many have paid the supreme price in order to make us live without fear. To these gallant heroes, I say your sacrifices will never be in vain. May the Almighty God continue to grant them all eternal rest. To those that are in service, be assured that this administration will continue to support and provide you with the means to perform your duties efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, let me assure all our servicemen and women that the issue of their welfare is paramount to this administration.
17. Basic infrastructure such as barracks accommodation, water, health and so many others are undergoing rehabilitation. I believe our gallant troops who give their all deserve the very best.
18. I applaud the courage of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai for identifying the role and relevance of research and development to the advancement of the Army and the nation.
19. Finally, let me use this opportunity to commend and congratulate all the award recipients for their outstanding contributions to the successes recorded by the Nigerian Army. I implore all the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to continue to discharge their tasks in line with the constitutional provisions. I congratulate you all for being a critical instrument of national unity, cohesion and integration.
20. Once again congratulations for Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2018.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.