We will secure Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said yesterday.Tinubu spoke at the palace of the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin El-Kanemi, in Maiduguri,the Borno State capital.
The President was in Maiduguri, the erstwhile epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency to attend the annual Chief of Army Staff Conference.
Maiduguri, the home town of Vice President Kashim Shettima, is the headquarters of Operation Hadin Kai, the military theater centre in the fight against insurgency.
Yesterday, the President unveiled fleets of 107 palliative vehicles for Maiduguri metropolitan use.
The President also challenged the military to remain apolitical.
Reflecting on the recent accidental bombing in Kaduna, he sympathised with the victims, assuring them that the Federal Government will not abandon them.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Ajuri Ngelale, the president promised to provide succour for victims of insecurity in Borno State.
He said: “This is my most sacred responsibility and the trajectory of the larger effort shown by the ratio of victory over defeat has been sliding well in our favour since the new administration assumed office.
“We are not satisfied yet. We are not satisfied until we reach the end of insecurity in Nigeria. “
President Tinubu said under his watch, security would remain a top priority, adding that it will not be limited to battlefield concerns.
He said: “We will provide better amenities and benefits to our gallant armed forces and their families. We are committed to this and this is factored into the 2024 budget. We will ensure that our administration reflects the grateful heart of the Nigerian people in the way we treat those who make the ultimate sacrifices.”
The President sympathised with the families of victims of the bombing in Tudun Biri, Kaduna State, lamenting that most of them tragically lost their lives while reciting the Shadada during their observance of Maulud, a central statement of faith for practising Muslims.
He added: “They were Nigerians of profound faith and in the moment of the tragedy, they were reciting the Shadada. God Almighty comforts their families as their nation grieves their passage into glory. May their souls rest in eternal peace.”
The Vice President, who last week visited Tundun Biri, the village hit during the bombing mishap, on behalf of the President, announced the Federal Government’s plan to rebuild the city at take care of the families of those killed.
Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum acknowledged the steady improvement in security, hailing the collaboration between the security agencies and his government.
He said: “We have seen the close working relationship between our state and the security agencies. The results are speaking for themselves. We remain committed to the achievement of the Renewed Hope Agenda in the fight against insecurity anywhere it exists in Nigeria.
“We thank you for your leadership, Mr. President. We will continue to give all required support to the Nigerian Armed Forces,” Governor Zulum said.
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji El-Kanemi urged the President to fight the infrastructure battle in areas that have been ravaged by insurgency over the years.
He said: “We seek the revival of the Lake Chad Commission to provide succour to the large communities in the Lake Chad’s surrounding areas. We seek power projects and job creation initiatives for our unemployed youths. Governor Zulum has been performing beyond what is humanly possible but his resources are limited. Please assist him.”
Tinubu applauded the Shehu of Borno for supporting Borno State government, the Federal Government in maintaining peace and stability, promising to enhance the involvement of traditional institutions in ensuring stability at the grassroots.
President Tinubu charged the Armed Forces to remain non-partisan, but vigilant in upholding democratic principles.
He promised to provide the necessary support for the military to keep the troublers of the nation at bay.
The President declared that he will win the battle to keep Nigeria safe.
President Tinubu, who acknowledged the Army’s commitment to national security, emphasized their role as a guardian of constitutional order during elections.
He said: “The professional conduct of the Armed Forces during the elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states underscores your role as a guardian of our constitutional order and democracy precepts. In this regard, the Nigerian Army must remain completely non-partisan, but vigilantly pro-democracy.
“We also note with great satisfaction the many civilian-military projects across the country, some of which will be commissioned during this Conference.
“These projects not only bring the military and civilian population into closer affinity and mutual understanding, they also serve the practical purpose of tangibly improving the living conditions of the people.”
Citing the recent procurement of new aircraft as a testament of his resolve to upgrade national defence capability, President Tinubu reiterated his administration’s commitment to advancing the modernization of the military, with a focus on improving mobility, communications, and offensive striking capabilities.
The President expressing the nation’s gratitude for the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces, recalling his earlier approval of N18 billion in Group Life Assurance benefits for families of fallen heroes.
He also pledged government support for the welfare of serving personnel and their families.
The Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru, said the President’s new approach to empowering the force and enhancing intra-military collaboration has boosted the morale of the Armed Forces.
He said: “Mr. President, you are a man of your word. Your Renewed Hope agenda assured Nigerians of progress in the fight against insecurity. The men of the armed forces are more committed than ever before.
“They see the progress they are recording. They know the damage they are inflicting on our enemies. They have high morale. Our enemies do not because of your leadership. Thank you, Mr. President,” the Minister stated.
Badaru pledged to sustain his support for the military in the provision of infrastructure, assuring that the administration will invest in their operational capabilities.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, said the ongoing military operations in different parts of the country had significantly weakened criminal elements and checkmated farmer-herders crises in various parts of the country.
He said: ”Notwithstanding these achievements, we know the importance of continuous evaluation and this conference will be instrumental in formulating long-term strategies to bolster our ability to carry out our constitutional responsibility in the year 2024.”
Tinubu inaugurates subsidy buses
President Tinubu inaugurated a fleet of 107 eco-friendly gas and electric vehicles in Maiduguri as part of Governor Zulu metro transport initiative.
The scheme, which was meant to mitigate the effects of fuel subsidy removal, comprises the conversion of buses and taxis to utilize low-cost energy sources, and affordable transportation for citizens recovering from the impact of the prolonged Boko Haram insurgency.
Zulum highlighted his administration’s response to the presidential directive on subsidy removal, emphasizing the massive investment in the mass transit scheme.
The diversified fleet includes gas-powered coaster buses, Hummer buses, mass transit buses, and electric-powered taxis.
President Tinubu hailed Zulum for keying into the ”Hope Renewed,” agenda, praising his innovation and commitment to the people.
Tinubu said he would leverage Zulum’s foresight to establish an assembly plants, thereby boosting the economy at the sub-national level.
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