President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday commissioned 700 Ashok Leyland troops carrying vehicles for the armed forces of Nigeria with a declaration that in seven years, his administration has revitalized the armed forces for the protection of Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
Buhari also pledged that his administration remained committed to winning the war against terrorism and other forms of insecurity.
The President who spoke virtually at the commissioning ceremony, commended the military’s efforts at defending the territorial integrity of the country even as he recalled that before his emergence, Boko Haram and other criminals had taken over some parts of the country.
He said, “As a country, we are proud that since the first seven years, we have been able to revitalise our armed forces for the protection of the Nigeria’s territorial integrity that was once violated by Boko Haram insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.
“My regime would continue to support you in every aspect including improving your welfare. Let me also assure Nigerians, the Federal Government remains steadfast and committed to winning the war against insurgency and other forms of criminalities. We will not relent until we have a new Nigeria that is free from the terrorism menace.
“Some of you may recall that in my inaugural speech as the President, I promised to put an end to Boko Haram which hitherto constitutes threat to Nigeria’s territorial integrity. To fulfill this promise, efforts were intensified on professionalism, capacity building in the armed forces, and the acquisition of brand new platforms, and other supporting equipment were intensified to enable the military to discharge their duties respectively. ”
On the vehicles, Buhari expressed confidence that the vehicles would help improve the operations of the troops noting, “I have no doubt that the deployment of these vehicles, will increase the efficient capacity of the armed forces of Nigeria”.
“Therefore I charge you to consolidate on the gains you have made toward sustaining the peace and stability of the country”.
He commended the military’s role in the just concluded elections as well as restoring peace in some troubled parts of the country and promised that he will continue to improve the welfare of military personnel in the country.
Reiterating that his administration is committed to curbing insecurity in the country Buhari said, “I commend the armed forces for their support and role played during the Presidential and National Assembly elections. I want to assure you all, that your labour will not be in vain.
In his remarks, minister of Defence Major General, Bashir Magashi (retd) said the procurement of the troops carrying vehicles was initiated by the Office of the National Security Adviser in 2014, adding that the delivery was delayed due to administrative errors.
He, however, said the vehicles would help improve the operational activities of the armed forces.
His words, “The complexity of crimes in various spheres of operation requires all actors both public and private to synergize efforts to safeguard the Nation from every form of anti-establishment activities. It is therefore most pleasant to take delivery of these troops-carrying vehicles, especially at this period to facilitate the operational activities of the Armed Forces.”
He said the transformation process of the military has been anchored on 3 pillars of capacity building, restructuring/reorganization and troops’ welfare adding, “Nonetheless, it is worthy of note that the process of transforming the Armed Forces of Nigeria over the years has not been easy given the numerous multi-dimensional security and economic challenges facing the Country.
“Notwithstanding, the current administration has security as a priority in its agenda, hence the need to equip the Armed Forces with all necessary platforms to ensure peace and security in the country. Very importantly, this administration is cognizant of the significance of troops and logistics mobility for effective operational efficiency.”