The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said the Nigerian Army is an instrument of national unity, integration and development, despite security challenges in the last decade.Buratai disclosed this at the weekend in Maiduguri, while flagging off this year’s Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) at the Military Command and Control Centre.He said the Nigerian civil war was fought to keep the country united, in which many soldiers paid the supreme price.
According to him, the Army Day celebration is a constant reminder of the sacrifices paid by troops to ensure the nation is united.NADCEL, with theme: “The Nigerian Army and National Security:A Panacea for Nigeria’s Economic Development,” was designed to showcase army personnel and equipment, as well as troops’ ground and aerial capabilities.He said: “This year’s celebration affords us the opportunity to celebrate our evolution, achievements and also to showcase our transformation strides in innovations, research and development, civil military relations and technological advances.”
He noted that there were many security challenges that had bedeviled this country in the last decade.Buratai disclosed that the Nigerian Army has made giant strides, particularly in the counter-insurgency and terrorisms military operations in the North-east.On insecurity, he said: “Our security architecture has a very positive outlook in protecting peoples’ lives and property in the country.
“We have not only consolidated on the gains established in the fight against insurgency in the North-east, but have progressed into post-stabilisation phase; where all efforts are geared towards ensuring displaced persons return to their ancestral homes.“The liberated communities in the region, particularly Borno State; the centre of insurgency, are now safe to celebrate Army Day in
This was why Operation Last Hold was conducted in the fringes of Lake Chad waters and northern Borno, comprising nine liberated local councils.According to him, the operation is a humanitarian one to return Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) and provide security that could guarantee their return to farm, fish and trade.“With the defeat of Boko Haram, it is time to encourage our people to return to their ancestral homes,” he said.
He said this year’s celebration is quite unique as there would be innovative, research and development and technological aspects of the army, adding that activities for the celebration included contribution of army’s quota to national development; Jumua’at prayers at Maimalari Barracks Praying Ground and other military formations. He said there would be an interdenominational church service at the All Saints’ Military Church, Maimalari Barracks and across all formations in the country today. Other activities include sanitation exercise and a medical outreach to be undertaken at selected locations across the state and other parts of the country this week.