The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has called on Nigerians to support the Nigerian Army in its quest to promote national unity and restore peace to different parts of the country.
Yahaya made the call while briefing newsmen in preparation for the Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2021, on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the army had been involved in several peace support operations across the country, adding that it had recorded huge operational gains in all fronts.
According to him, troops are on all fronts ranging from the counter insurgency operations in the North East, anti-kidnapping and banditry in the North West and North Central, secessionist agitation and other criminalities in the South East and South-South.
“Nigerian Army is aware of expectations the citizens have and would work assiduously towards meeting those expectations.
“We remain resolute and require the collaboration of all stakeholders to fight terrorism and insurgency including other forms of criminalities in the country.
“I also want to use this opportunity to solicit for cooperation and goodwill of all law abiding citizens as a necessity to achieving a lasting peace in Nigeria.
“We all must put National Interest first above all forms of primordial sentiments capable of destroying our unity. Together we shall succeed,” he said.
The COAS said that the weeklong annual event lined up to commemorate NADCEL2021 would be used to reflect on the performance of Nigerian army and celebrate its achievements.
He said the event would also be used to project the army as an important symbol of national power, unity, integration and development.
Yahaya disclosed that the event would be low key given the death of the former COAS, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others.
Attahiru and others lost their lives in the unfortunate air mishap at Kaduna International Airport on May 21.
He added that the event would cover series of activities such as Jumat prayer in Mosques and inter-denominational church services across barracks nationwide.
He added that other activities include civil military cooperation activities like medical outreach and humanitarian activities by Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) as well as lectures and COAS commendation award.
“The NADCEL is an annual event which was first celebrated on July 6, 1978, in solemn remembrance of that historic moment of first shot released on July 6, 1967 marking the commencement of the country’s 30-month Civil War.
“The event is celebrated to equally bring to the knowledge of all Nigerian Army personnel and indeed all Nigerians that the war was an unfortunate tragedy and the reconciliation afterwards should be instrumental to strengthening our national unity.
“In subsequent celebrations, the NA uses NADCEL as a medium to reflect on its performances in previous year for effective projections.
“In doing this, lessons are being drawn from numerous operational activities of the Nigerian army amidst daunting security challenges peculiar to each region of the country,” he said. (NAN)