Against pressure and threats from several ethnic groups calling for secession in parts of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday charged the Nigerian Army to ensure that the country remained one and strong indivisible entity.
Buhari gave the charge when he received the captured flag of Boko Haram terrorists from the Sambisa forest from the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. -Gen. Lucky Irabor at the 2016 Regimental Dinner organized by the Guards Brigade in Abuja.
The dinner which is an annual event to mark the end of drilling year, also provides the opportunity for officers to interact with their Commanders.
Going down memory lane, Buhari recalled his ordeal in the army that would have cost his life noting however that aside it, he had a good time, serving the army for 25 years.
He said, “You must ensure the unity of the country. It is sacrosanct. I believe you are here because you want to be here and you cannot complain. We will do our best to build the national institutions in the country.
“All these political madness in the country where-ever, in the north east, the Niger Delta or in the East must stop.
“There are 250 ethnic groups, so keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done. So, even for personal reason you must make sure this country stays one and remain strong”.
On the state of the economy, Buhari said his position on the devaluation of the Naira, hike of the petroleum products among others remains.
He said he rejected similar advice by the IMF, World Bank to devalue the Naira as a military Head of State noting “I refused and gave my reasons and the next thing I knew I was removed and detained for three and half years.
“As a civilian president I will do my best and I’m telling you all these because you are part of the leadership of this great country and God willing we will remain great”, he said.
Chief of Army Staff, Gen.Tukur Buratai in his address emphasized the function of the brigade of guards as key to the nations’ seat of power, peace and security, saying that apart from providing security to the president, they also provided security for the FCT.
He reminded the officers of the need to maintain discipline at all times even in 2017, promising not to give up in the north east until the insurgents were completely wiped out.
Assuring that the Army will remain apolitical in the country, Buratai promised to restore calm in other troubled areas of the country.
Earlier, while handing over the flag of Boko Haram to the President, Gen. Irabor, Theater Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole disclosed that about 1,240 suspected Boko Haram terrorists were arrested during a mop-up operation by troops inside the Sambisa forest.