President Jonathan Commends Security Chiefs, Urges Them To Defend Nigeria

Rear Admiral Dele Ezeoba , Chief of Naval Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh , Chief of Air Staff, and Lt Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, Chief of Army Staff
Rear Admiral Dele Ezeoba , Chief of Naval Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh , Chief of Air Staff, and Lt Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, Chief of Army Staff

The Federal Government and security operatives have a responsibility to protect the citizenry against acts of terror, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.

He therefore urged security chiefs in the country to do their best to eradicate terrorism in the country.

The President also called on security personnel to ensure a strict adherence to the rules of engagement and the respect for human lives in the ongoing campaign against terrorism and insurgency.

Speaking at the 2013 Nigerian Army Day Celebrations organised with the theme “Enhancing Nigerian Army Capacity Building Efforts Towards Improved National Security” in Abuja on Saturday, Jonathan said the Federal Government was committed to the eradication of terrorism which he described as an evil against citizens, the society and desired development of the country.

He called on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Azubuike Ihejirika, other service chiefs, and the head of the other security agencies in the country to ensure effective collaboration with one another and with their counterparts in others countries in the pursuit of the task of eradicating terrorism.

“You must at all time defend our citizens and foreigners against all terrorists’ elements.

“I also urge you to collaborate and work in synergy with other security agencies in our country as well as friendly partner nations, in order to enhance your efforts and effectiveness.

“Terrorism is anti-people, it is anti-progress, and must be stamped out of our nation. We will do anything within our powers to ensure the security and safety of all law abiding citizens. This is the commitment that we have made.”

The President justified the declaration of emergency rule in the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, saying the activities of terror groups made it imperative for government to respond with a preemptive anti-terror strategy.

He said reports from the ongoing military operations made available to him indicated that the action was well thought out and yielding results.

Jonathan also commended the Armed Forces for strict adherence to professionalism since the commencement of democracy in 1999, while also thanking various groups in the society for supporting the government against those who sought to destabilize the country.

He said the progress made by the military in the fight against terrorism had shown, with the resumption of government services and private businesses in the areas erstwhile terrorised by the insurgents.

“Here at home, we recall the circumstances that led to the declaration of the current state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamwa states. A pre-emptive counter terrorism strategy became imperative following the increasingly destabilising activities by terror group.

“I am pleased to note that an initial assessment report as regards the military operations since the emergency declaration reveals that our strategy has been well thought out and is progressing satisfactorily. Government services and private business have resumed in areas previously affected by this unpatriotic areas, and very importantly the people by regaining their lives.

“I felicitate with the Nigerian Army and the security agencies for their gallantry and patriotism. Let me use this opportunity to commend them for their continuing support and understanding in this challenging time of our country.

“I appreciate and commend individuals, communities, traditional rulers, civil society organisations, women and youth groups for the cooperation they have given to our security agencies by denouncing those who sought for violence rather than stability, rather than peaceful coexistence and the economic development of our people and community,” the President added.