President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration has been able to mitigate insecurity despite inheriting a country where “bombs were going off with frightening frequency even in our cities”.
The president said this on Thursday at the passing out parade and commissioning ceremony of cadets of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna.
He listed his administration’s efforts in equipping the military with relevant and innovative hardware to tackle terrorism and banditry in the country.
The president said that coupled with providing the necessary equipment for the military, his administration has improved funding for officials in the army.
“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,” he said.
“This administration has since come on board and 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.”
Buhari charged the service chiefs to replicate the successes recorded in the fight against insurgency in the north-east in other parts of the country.
He said the military should be relentless in safeguarding the economic and defence capability of the nation, adding that they should not allow terrorists and insurgents to destroy the investments in key national infrastructure.
“In this regard, I have instructed the service chiefs to replicate the successes in the north-east in other parts of the country, and I call on all Nigerians to continue to support our armed forces and security agencies,” he said.
“Our interventions, and even where we dealt with saboteurs, were designed to prevent the collapse of the economy and revitalise the armed forces, and this is the legacy we are handing over to the next administration.
“This is an important point we must acknowledge, especially as the election year draws closer.
“I am utterly committed to ensuring that the forthcoming elections are peaceful and transparent, and it is our collective responsibility to continue to work towards building a united and prosperous country.”