Buhari orders military to end terror in three months
Warns against toying with soldiers’ welfare
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Service Chiefs and the National Security Adviser (NSA) to work towards bringing to an end, all traces of insurgency, banditry and armed robbery in the country within three months.
But as they pursue that goal, the President warned the top military hierarchy against compromising the welfare of the soldiers, a situation he said, that had, hitherto, been responsible for the low morale of the rank and file since the prosecution of the war against terror started in the country.
The President, who spoke at a ceremony during which he decorated the security chiefs with their new insignias of office, reiterated the fact that their appointments and subsequent elevation were based on their pedigree as first class senior officers who identify sterling leadership qualities.
“Therefore, I have no doubt in my mind that all of you are equal to the task ahead of you. You must acquaint yourselves and justify the honour done to you,” the President told them.
At the ceremony, Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin was decorated the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS); Lt-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, Chief of Army Staff (CAS); Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas , Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff (CAS).
The President also emphasised that the various security challenges facing the nation which include the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, armed banditry, kidnapping, militancy of various forms, among others, need urgent solution.
“The activities of these misguided groups and individuals have resulted in wanton destruction of lives and properties and disruption of social, economic lives of millions of Nigerians.”
According to him, the increasing incidents of attacks perpetrated by the insurgents have led to the deployment of various instruments of national power in a bid to contain them and restore law and order in every part of the country just as he noted that rightly, “the armed forces have been in the vanguard of the fight against terrorism.”
While commending the armed forces for their efforts so far, the President stressed the need for the new military top brass to brace up and continue to team up with other stakeholders to come up with a well coordinated joint effort which will bring a desired end to these insurgencies within three months.
“In the course of carrying out this assignment you must be accountable for all men and equipment placed under your command. Your troops’ welfare must be uppermost in your mind; take care of them and make available what is due to them.
“Concerted efforts should also be made to make judicious use of resources that are available to you in search for solution to these challenges.
On our own part, we shall be ready to give you the needed resources to achieve this feat. You will recall I have been to several countries with the sole aim of canvassing for global support to eliminate terrorism from Nigeria.
“These efforts which include establishment of the multi national joint task force should be complimented by you. You should therefore re-professionalise your force and give your troops creditable training so that they can perform their job creditably.
He also enjoined them to ensure that they abide by the newly enforced rules and relations of international standards while carrying out their assigned tasks.
“In particular, you must protect innocent civilians and respect the rights of non-combatants. This no doubt will earn the support of local communities and the respect of our allies and support of international community. Get back to work and make Nigerians proud.”
The Service Chiefs said they were already working out how to go about their tasks and work out effective ways of carrying out the presidential directive.
His words: “We are already strategising on how to handle most of the challenges since we were appointed a month ago, and all these we are beginning to put in place. We just put in more efforts to ensure that we achieve the desire of the President.”
Asked if three months were enough to crush Boko Haram, he said: “The President has given a directive and we must carry it out.”