President Muhammadu Buhari has described the Nigerian Army as a truly professional and responsive force.
President Buhari gave the commendation on Saturday at the grand finale of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration at the Ikeja Military Cantonment in Lagos.
Represented by the Vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, President Buhari said, this has been true for the past 156 years and expressed confidence that this will continue for another 156 years to come and beyond.
He reiterated government’s commitment to continue the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.
“You the members of the armed forces have continued to put in your best on behalf of our country with several of your colleagues paying the supreme price in other to keep us safe and secured”
“We acknowledge and appreciate these sacrifices and pray for the repose of the souls of the departed. Our hearts are with their families and loved ones”
President Buhari said it is the responsibility of government to ensure that they do not die in vain.
He expressed confidence that the Army and indeed the armed forces have been equipped to tackle headlong, the security challenges of the country.
In his remarks, the chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai said the Nigerian Army Day Celebrations is an opportunity to remind personnel of the Nigerian Army on combat readiness and show case its combat capabilities as an army.
Similarly it is aimed at projecting the Nigerian Army as an instrument of national power, unity integration and development.
“This years celebration has given us the opportunity to honour some of our deserving personnel”
He restated the commitment of the Nigerian Army to continue the fight against insurgency and other forms of insurrection threatening the stability of the nation.
High points of the event was the decoration of deserving officers and men of the Nigerian Army who have distinguished themselves in their areas of responsibilities. Also awarded were ex-service men among whom is a veteran Private Amuda Aluko who is 104 and fought the Second World War.
The President also inspected newly manufactured combat vehicles constructed by the Defence Industries Corporation.
In attendance were top dignitaries including former Head of State Gen Yakubu Gowon, Chief of Defence Staff Gen AG Olanisakin, Chief of Air Staff, representatives of the CNS, IGP, DG SSS, Acting Chairman EFCC Mr Ibrahim Magu and Chairman NDLEA attended the event.
The Governor of Kwara State, Deputy Governor of Lagos State represented the Governor, while Osun State Governor and Head of Civil Service of the Federation were equally ably represented at the occasion.
Others are former CDS and Service Chiefs Gen ML Agwai, Lt Gens Akinrinade, Alwali Kazir, AO Ihejirika and KTG Minimah respectively. On the whole, many senior military officers both serving and retired, Captains of industries, Royal fathers including Oba of Lagos and other notable personalities attended the historic event.