Ladies and gentlemen, No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. We have come together today, to express our profound gratitude for the sacrifices, contributions strength and commitment that you all display every single day. Whenever this country calls, you all are the ones who answer, no matter the circumstance, no matter the danger, no matter the sacrifice, and this you do, with high morale.
The Nigerian Armed forces is not only our pride but also our super heroes, our saviours from all those hostile enemies, both external and internal.
Moving through the creeks of Opobo in the Niger Delta where these gallant men and women keep wake in Operation PULO SHIELD, among others, to ensure the continuous flow of crude that keeps the nation’s economy afloat, to the vast forest in North East Nigeria, to Oke Ero forest in Kwara state and Internal Security operations in other North Central zones, and in the North West. Also on the streets of Owerri in South East Nigeria, we can say that the Nigerian military truly observes federal character, not only in the ethnic composition, but in the spread of its gallantry across the nation in support of civil authority, especially the Nigerian Navy, Airforce, Police and other security agencies.
The rescue of about 101 abducted female students at Dapchi, in Yobe State, together with several women and children from the enclaves and cocoon of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists, also the rescue of over 300 students abducted from a boys’ public school in Katsina, amongst others, is another testimony to the fact that the Army, the Navy, and Air force can achieve success through their collaborative efforts towards emergency response.
We commend the Nigerian Airforce for providing strategic airlifts, air interdictions, surveillance, logistic supplies for the Armed Forces. However, there is need for synergies among the services as one body. A lot of work have to be done regarding the insecurity in the country.
While we understand that war requires patience and discipline, the promise of ending terrorism must be realised.
We call on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), operating in the North-east to desist from compromising national security and war efforts against terrorism and insurgency. We also call on Nigerians to shun divisive actions, comments that could jeopardize the unity and progress of the nation, and support our military in its bid to stamp out insurgency, banditry and other crimes.
We commend the Muhammadu Buhari administration for the timely provision of adequate resources and necessary logistics support for the Armed Forces to operate with the best and modern warfare equipment, while at the same time addressing the issues of their welfare.
This administration has greatly encouraged local production of armoured fighting vehicles and other military hardwares. These visionary steps has profoundly impacted positively on the Nigerian military operations.
We also want to use this opportunity to celebrate the Former Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (rtd), for his exceptional leadership, in seriously degrading Boko Haram, reducing the terror group to a shadow of itself. Buratai’s presence on the frontline, his strategy of making the welfare of soldiers his paramount priority, boosted the morale of troops immensely. We believe that his new duties will deliver the required international collaboration to wipe-out terrorism and whenever the clarion calls.
We also appreciate the Honourable Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Magashi (Rtd) For his incredible leadership.
We also appreciate the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Police Intelligence, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), for their efforts leading to the arrest of sponsors of terrorism and insurgency. We urge them to expose and arraign terrorists, insurgents and their sponsors in court as soon as possible.
We condole with the Nigerian military over the tragic death of COAS, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, and other military officers and men who died in the Air Force plane crash on Friday 21 May, in Kaduna. They gave their lives in the line of duty and patriotic service to the nation.
The Late COAS was patriotic in the fight against insurgency within the short period he served the nation. Nigerians followed with keen interest the tremendous progress and notable achievement he was recording in the fight against insurgency, kidnappings, and banditry. We would forever remember him for his bravery, commitment and determination in his quest for a better and secure Nigeria.
We must honor the good works of our Fallen Heroes, as well as the patience and sacrifices of their families. We must remain worthy of their sacrifice—forever committed to the country they loved and died for.
We use this opportunity to congratulate Major General Farouk Yahaya, on his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff. We have no doubt that the appointment would bring new hope, commitment and renewed energy, taking off from where his predecessor left in service delivery to the Army and to the nation.
This is the second edition of the God Bless Nigeria Group Armed Forces Appreciation Day. We shall continue to support the Nigerian Armed forces yearly, as patriotic citizens. Today and every day, we are grateful for the sacrifices of the Nigerian military. Thank you for defending the territorial integrity of our fatherland.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
God bless the Nigerian Army
Mr Eric Daminabo Ogolo for God Bless Nigeria Group
Leader, God Bless Nigeria Group