The Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashr Magashi (Rtd). has saluted the gallantry of the officers and soldiers of Nigerian Army on the celebration of its 157-year anniversary tagged NADCEL 2020.
Magashi gave the commendation during the Chief of Army Staff Commendation Award and Unveiling of the book titled, ‘’Compendium of the Nigerian Army Transformation, the Buratai Years 2015-2020’’ in Faskari on Saturday.
He said that the Nigerian army had weathered different storms to become what it is today, adding that it had continued to do its best on behalf of the country.
The minister said that NADCEL was an annual event that afford the Nigerian Army the opportunity to showcase its rich histories, values and achievements as well as its commitment to be a professionally responsive force.
According to him, it is also borne out of the burning desire of the Nigerian army to fulfil its primary responsibility of securing the territorial integrity of Nigeria in all circumstances.
“It is gladdening to note that this year’s celebration is being organised in the form of real time field training exercise aimed at riding the northern part of the country of banditry activities.
“It will further provide the Nigerian Army and indeed the armed forces of Nigeria a platform to upgrade the fight against insurgency, banditry activities and several criminal activities in various parts of the country.
“Let me use this opportunity to reiterate the Mr President’s commitment and absolute determination to achieve success in the fight against insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.
“Let me quickly add here that it is my responsibility as the minister to ensure that they did not die in vain.
“We therefore owe it a duty to continue to make available to you all the necessary moral and material supports that you may require to perform optimally.
“I wish to assure you on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, that all our obligations shall be faithfully discharged to you.
“We will continue to demonstrate the political will and determination towards ensuring that insurgency and criminality are totally eradicated from our dear country,’’ he said.
Magashi commended the Chief of Army Staff for his dedication, patriotism, loyalty and doggedness in leading the Nigerian army in the fight against terrorism and other security challenges.
He also commended the recipients of the awards for their service to the country and urged all officers and men to continue to discharge their duties diligently for the safety of the country.
The Minister later unveiled the book title, ‘’Compendium of the Nigerian Army Transformation, the Buratai Years 2015-2020’’ that highlighted some of the achievements recorded in the last five years.
He urged the COAS and his team to continue to strive further towards containing the threats to national security.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burata, said the two events were part of the activities put together to mark the NADCEL 2020.
He added that the event also coincided with his appointment as the 29th Chief of Army Staff on July 13, 2015, hence the release of the book on his transformational effort in five years.
According to him, the last five years have witnessed an escalating security threats across the country, adding that Nigeria witnessed an unprecedented worst security situation in the year preceding 2015.
He added that Boko Haram insurgency was at its peak with several parts of North Eastern Nigeria under their control, cases of kidnapping, communal, farmer-herder clashes were endemic across the country.
Buratai said his immediate priority on assumption of office in 2015 was centered on how to modernize the Nigerian army, adding that the steps taken had so far yielded positive results.
He said that the transformation of Nigerian army was a work in progress, urging officers and soldiers to sustain their hard work.