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President Muhammadu Buhari has listed comprehensive and systematic acquisitions by his administration within seven years, describing them as unprecedented in the past 38 years of the Nigerian military.
He however, directed the Service Chiefs to replicate the success recorded in the fight against insurgency in the North-East in other parts of the country, which he said was bolstered by the unprecedented acquisitions in military platforms and hardware in the past few years.
Buhari said this while speaking at the passing out parade and commissioning ceremony of Cadets of 69 Regular Course (Army, Navy, and Air Force) of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna on Thursday.
In a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shahu, Buhari said it was an honour to serve as the Reviewing Officer of the Passing Out Parade of 69 Regular Course for the last time as “President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“When this government came in 2015, we inherited a country at crossroads, with bombs going off with frightening frequency even in our cities, and we came in to confront and manage the crisis.
“This administration has since coming on board procured over 550 naval platforms, out of which 319 have been delivered, as part of the aggressive fleet recapitalisation of the Nigerian Navy.
“We have also increased the number of Nigerian Air Force platforms by more than 38% and enhanced the serviceability rate of aircraft in the NAF inventory by over 70%.
“In pursuing this same objective, the Nigerian Army has received more than 2000 units of various armoured fighting vehicles, guns, and equipment. These are in addition to improved funding of the three Services along with other security and intelligence agencies.
“These comprehensive and systematic acquisitions within 7 years are not only unprecedented in the past 38 years, but they also align with our pledge to safeguard and strengthen the security architecture of our country.
“Although this is not a forum to introduce you to the military hardware you are stepping out to inherit, it is imperative to identify the magnitude and complexities of conflicts surrounding us.
“While acknowledging that our measures have yielded results and we remain ever grateful for the sacrifices of members of the Armed Forces, we must brace up for the dimensions this conflict has taken,” Buhari said.
Speaking on the release of the remaining 23 abducted March 28 Abuja-Kaduna train passengers by terrorists on Wednesday, the President hailed the kinetic and non-kinetic approaches adopted by the military in tackling some of the country’s security challenges.
He said: “This feat was not achieved without our military, as the interventionist Chief of Defence Staff Action Committee set up by General LEO Irabor was at the centre of the development, along with sister security agencies. I say Bravo to our soldiers, officers and gentlemen.”
Restating the commitment of the Armed Forces, under his command, to fulfil the promise to neutralise Boko Haram terrorism in the North-East, President Buhari pledged that they would not relent in resettling and rehabilitating the victims of the tragedy.
He added that although successes have been recorded in the conflict inherited, especially in the North-East, the security challenges in the country have evolved and assumed other dimensions in some areas.
The President, therefore, charged the military to continue the safeguard the economic and military capability of the nation and not to allow terrorists and insurgents to destroy the investments in key national infrastructure.
A total of 21 awards were presented to deserving cadets including the Sword of Honour and Gold Medal Award (Army) to Academy Senior Under Officer (ASUO) Nzubechukwu Nweze; Gold Medal Award (Navy) and Indian Shield (Navy) Award to Cadet Chinaecherem Anih; Gold Medal Award (Air Force) and Indian Shield (Air Force) Award to Cadet Ayomide Ogunjemniyi.
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