President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday charged the new Service Chiefs to do all within their power to end insurgency in the country, pleading with them not to disappoint Nigerians.
Jonathan, who spoke at the decoration ceremony of the new Service Chiefs with their new ranks before the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja, stressed that the security agencies cannot go to sleep until Nigerians in Borno State and other parts of the north can sleep.
He said, “Whenever I am decorating military officers, I commend their wives because it is not easy to be barrack based and for you to rise to this height. But the service chiefs, I don’t know whether I will congratulate you or I will sympathise with you because of the circumstances of the moment.
“That reminds me, when I was in secondary school, I read one article written by late Dr. Tai Solarin and there is one clause he said ‘I wish you what I wish myself every year. May you have enough time this year’. So I think I will wish you what I wish myself every year and may we have enough time this period, because none of us will sleep till the Nigerians in Borno State can sleep.
“That is why I say today is not a moment for major statements. We will be having very fine talks from time to time, but definitely Nigerians will tell you what they expect from us. We must not fail this country and I believe this team will work together to be assisted by other intelligence services because the war against terror must be won in this country.
“I congratulate you all and your wives. I have worked with some of you in one way or the other and I am convinced that we selected the right team to salvage this country at this time. You must not disappoint Nigerians”.
Information Nigeria reports that the climax of the ceremony was the decoration of the military top brass with their new ranks by the President, Vice President Namadi Sambo and their respective spouses.
Those decorated were the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshall Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear-Adm. Usman Jibrin and Chief of Air Staff, AVM Adesola Amosu.
Speaking on behalf of the new Service Chiefs, whose appointments were confirmed by the National Assembly, the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Alex Badeh, assured that they will live up to the responsibility of their offices.
He also pledged their unalloyed loyalty to Nigeria, stressing that the security challenges in the Northeast are not insurmountable.
He commended President Jonathan for respecting statutory provision by sending their names to the National Assembly for confirmation.