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Don’t Allow Violent Groups Overrun Nigeria, Tinubu Tells Army

The 2024 Nigeria Army Day celebration which was held in Plateau State came to an end on Saturday (today) with a charge on the army by President Bola Tinubu not to allow violent groups to overrun the citizens in the country.

Tinubu gave the charge on Saturday while speaking at the Maxwell Khobe Cantonment in Bassa Local Government Area of the state, the venue of the closing ceremony for the week-long celebration.

He noted that the Nigerian Army had made and continues to make huge sacrifices to keep the citizens safe despite the security challenges which he further noted had increased in the last decade and a half, adding that ” the Nigerian Army has risen to the challenge to keep Nigeria safe.”

The president said his administration was working hard to equip the army to enable them to perform their constitutional role of protecting the citizens against any territorial aggression.

He said it was against that background that he had approved the payment of Group Life Assurance for all members of the Nigerian Army who died in the line of duty and also approved the purchase of attack helicopters and other necessary equipment and combat enablers for them to carry out their assignments more proficiently and effectively.

Represented by the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, the president said, “As your Commander-In-Chief, my administration is committed to building a well-equipped, and truly professional army that will remain the pride of the nation. We are committed to providing you with all that you need to enable you to fulfil your constitutional responsibilities.

“To this end, I have approved the payment of Group Life Assurance for all members of the Nigerian Army who died in the line of duty. To heighten your combat efficiency and dexterity, I also approved the purchase of attack helicopters and other necessary equipment and combat enablers for you to carry out your assignments more proficiently and effectively

“Judging from the excellent parade and the display I have watched this morning, I am convinced that the Nigerian Army has justified the trust reposed in them for the defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria. I feel proud as your Commander-In-Chief as I watch the array of equipment and your dexterity in handling them. I see the eagerness and pride on the faces of the young men and women as they showed their commitment to defend the country.

“We live in a complex and ever-changing world and our army must continue to evolve to meet the new challenges of the changing world. I am told, that you spent a part of the Army Day Celebration holding lectures and brainstorming sessions on the evolving complex and uncertain security situations. It is good and proper that you did that so that you can be better prepared for the evolving challenges.

Tinubu added that as the security architecture evolves globally, the army should also be poised to follow suit to align with new security threats.

“As the world changes, our security architecture must also change to meet up with the new threats. Here is my bottom line: Nigerians must be safe in their fields, on our highways, in our markets and their homes. The Nigerian Army remains the backbone of the security architecture that would ensure this security. You must sustain the progress made so far and evolve strategies to ensure that violent groups do not overwhelm peaceful and law-abiding Nigerians,” he said.

Continuing, the president said, “As you take direct action against violent groups, you must remember to conduct yourselves in a manner to reflect your professionalism.

“Finally, I would like to encourage you to continue to work closely with our sister services, other security agencies as well as your fellow countrymen and women. There is no doubt, that you represent the pride of the nation; an institution with history; an

institution that has never failed Nigeria. Your charge now is not only to protect your country but to do what is right and just at all times”

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, described the weeklong Army Day celebration as successful.

He thanked the President for his strategic guidance and the confidence reposed in the Army in carrying out its constitutional responsibilities.

“On behalf of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army, I want to reiterate our unalloyed loyalty and pledge our total commitment to the defence of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the COAS stated.

The grand finale of the Army Day celebration was attended by several dignitaries including the Plateau State Governor, Barrister Caleb Mutfwang, Taraba State Governor, Agbus Kefas, and Chief of Defense Staff, Christopher Musa, among others.

The ceremony also featured the commissioning of two military aircraft, a display of military vehicles, as well as presentation of meritorious awards to military men and civilians for outstanding service.

Notable among the recipients of the awards was a philanthropist and the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdusamad Rabiu.

He was recognised for his outstanding service, including the donation of N10 billion to the Security Support Fund with N2 billion allocated to the Nigerian army.

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