By Olanrewaju Ajao President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday directed the new service chiefs to crush Boko Haram insurgents and other criminal groups within the next three months.
The President gave the order while decorating the service chiefs who were recently confirmed by the Senate with their new ranks.
Buhari was joined by the Vice President and the military officers’ spouses to decorate them with their new ranks inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He directed them to get back to work and make the nation proud, saying they must justify the honour done them with their appointments.
The president expressed confidence that the officers were equal to the task ahead of them because their appointments and subsequent elevation to new ranks were strictly based on merit and competence.
“You are all aware of the various security challenges facing our nation. These challenges include the activities of Boko Haram terrorists, armed banditry, kidnapping and militancy of various forms, to mention a few.
“The activities of these misguided groups and individuals have resulted in wanton destruction of lives and property of our citizens as a disruption of social economic lives of millions of Nigerians.
“The increasing incidences of attacks and destruction perpetrated by these insurgents have led to the deployment of various instruments of national power in a bid to contain their activities and restoring law and order in every part of the country.
“Rightly, the armed forces have been in the vanguard of the fight against terrorism.
“While commending the efforts of the armed forces so far, you need 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.”
The President said in the course of carrying out their assignment, the service chiefs must be accountable for all men and equipment placed under their command.
He also urged them to make their troops’ welfare uppermost in their mind, adding that concerted efforts should also be made to make judicious use of resources that were available to them in search for solution to the current security challenges.
Buhari said on his part, his government was ready to give the military the needed resources to achieve the feat.
He continued: “You will recall that 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 complemented by you. You should therefore re-professionalise your force and give your troops creditable training so that they can perform their job creditably.
“You should also ensure that they abide by the newly enforced rules and regulations of international standards while carrying out their assigned tasks. In particular you must protect innocent civilian in the theatre of conflicts.
“This, no doubt, will earn you 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 new Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, in his remarks, thanked God and Buhari for the honour done the new service chiefs.
Olonishakin said he and the other service chiefs were prepared and committed to justify the confidence reposed in them by the appointment.
While promising the military’s unalloyed loyalty to the President and the country, he sought the support of Nigerians to make the task easier.
Other service chiefs sworn in include Lt-General T.Y. Buratai – Chief of Army Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas – Chief of Naval Staff and Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar – Chief of Air Staff.