President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, said Nigeria is progressively winning the war against Boko Haram under the auspices of Multinational Forces with neighbouring countries.
The remarks followed Tuesday and Wednesday’s attack in Kukawa and Monguno local government areas of Borno State, where at least 145 people were killed by suspected Boko Haram.
In his speech as special guest of honour at the graduation of 174 senior course 37 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Nigeria, the president pointed out the importance of harnessing the strengths of multiple security actors, demonstrated in the fight against terrorism.
“Under the auspices of a Multinational Forces, forces of neighbouring countries and our own forces are progressively winning the fight against Boko Haram,” he said.
The president, who was represented by Vice President,Yemi Osinbajo, expressed confidence in the quality of training received by officers in the institution which according to him, has adequately prepared the military to confront current threats to national and global security.
He, however, cautioned the officers to be mindful of the “distracting and diversionary” nature of today’s highly sensitive media environment.
“Some of you will be deployed in crisis-prone areas, for either internal security or peace support operations outside your country; given that we live in a common global environment, you must be conscious of your actions,” he warned the graduates.
On the global scene, Mr. Buhari said Nigeria remains firmly committed to the maintenance of international peace and security. He said the country will continue to collaborate with other governments to promote peace, stability and development on the African continent and around the world.
He charged the military to leave up to expectations at all time and to uphold the nation’s enduring legacy in global peacekeeping operations.
“As members of the armed forces, you have a principal role to play in protecting the lives and properties of our citizens,” Mr. Buhari said. “While maintaining internal peace and security remains primarily the responsibility of the civil police, the scale of the current security challenges facing our nation, requires the military to play a more decisive role in support of civil power.
“Always remember that ethnicity and religious intolerance are the greatest threats to our collective security as a people and as a nation. I urge you all to guard against these negative sentiments in the discharge of your noble duties.”
In his welcome address, commandant of the college, John Ifemeje, an air-vice marshal, said the course assembled on June 30, 2014 and is made up of 174 students comprising 70 Nigerian Army officers, 43 Nigerian Navy officers, 31 Nigerian Air Force officers and 9 civilians from the Defence Intelligence Agency, DSS, Ministry of Defence, Nigerian Prison Service, Nigerian Immigration Service, NYSC and FRSC.
He noted that among the graduating students, there are also 21 international military officers comprising five from Mali, four from Ghana, and two each from Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Togo and one each from Cameroun, Chad, the Gambia and Senegal.
“It has been 49 weeks of intense operational military training and academic activities and the course is designed to equip the officers with the appropriate skills to function as middle level commanders and Grade 1 Staff Officers,” he said.
He advised the graduates to strive to improve themselves and always keep abreast with developments, not only in their immediate environment but also in the ever dynamic global environment.