President Jonathan has urged the country’s military to respect people’s human rights and their rules of engagement in their fight against terrorism in the country. The President made the call on the military at the at the parade to mark the grand finale of the 2013 Nigerian Army Day Celebration on Saturday July 6, 2013. He was the Officer and the Special Guest of Honour at the event.
The President expression satisfaction at the way the military has conducted itself since the declaration of the state of emergency in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states. He said that owing to the success of the state of emergency in these states, normalcy was beginning to be restored there such that government services and private businesses have resumed operations in areas previously occupied by the Boko Haram terrorists.
The President said: “In the current stabilizing phase of your operations, the welfare and wellbeing of the people of the communities where you live and work must be your primary focus’’ . The President described terrorism as something that is anti-people and anti-progress and promised that his government must do everything within its powers to ensure the security and safety of all law-abiding citizens. He promised that the government would continue to support the armed forces and meet their needs.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, in his remarks, said the annual celebration affords the army the opportunity to showcase its rich history, values and accomplishments. The Minister of State for Defence, Mrs Olusola Obada, in her own speech said that the theme of the celebration, “Enhancing the Nigerian Army Capacity Building Effort towards Improved National Security’’ could not have come at a better time as it came at a time the country was confronting terrorism and other security challenges. In his own remarks, the FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed said that given the current security challenges facing the country, the army should increase surveillance to reduce the level of criminality in the country.
The event, which marked 150 years of the existence of the Nigerian Army, witnessed the presentation of award to 21 officers for their outstanding performance.