The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, on Saturday charged military personnel to be more focused and determined to confront the emerging security challenges in the country.
Buratai gave the charge during the 1 Division, Nigerian Army West African Social Activities for 2018, held at the old site of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna.
He said: “As you commence the Year 2019 activities, let me remind you of the enormous tasks before you and the need for you to be more focused and determined to confront the emerging challenges.”
The army chief said the occasion, which was meant to mark the completion of the Division’s training activities of the Year 2018, is indeed a unique event.
He said WASA is a cherished tradition in the Nigerian Army, aimed at bringing the troops, their families and civilian friends to socialize in an informal setting.
“It provides a veritable avenue to showcase glamorous traditions and rich cultures of the various ethnic groups in military Barracks and Cantonments,” Buratai said, adding: “This occasion therefore celebrates the indivisible unity of our great nation.
“I wish to state here that 1 Division has every cogent reason to celebrate the Year 2018 as its officers and men have remained resolute in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.
“I am aware of your tremendous achievements in combating acts of kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed banditry and other activities of criminal elements which has brought remarkable improvement of the security situation in your area of operations.
“I must commend your effort in forging synergy and collaboration with other security agencies in ensuring peace within your area of operations especially your swift intervention during the recent crisis in Kaduna State.”
Buratai added that the gallantry displayed by the troops on Operation WHIRL PUNCH is highly appreciated.
Similarly, he said the commitment of the troops in the on-going Ex EGWU EKE III within the area of operations is also commendable.
He, however, implored the soldiers to put all hands on deck to create an enabling environment for the smooth conduct of the 2019 General Elections.
He said: “Therefore, you are to remain apolitical, steadfast and proactive in the discharge of your responsibilities.
“I enjoin you to remain dedicated in your service to the nation during the elections and subsequent operations in line with my vision, which is to have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles.”
The COAS also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his exemplary and inspiring leadership, support and motivation to the Nigerian Army.
Buratai also expressed gratitude to the government and people of Kaduna State for their support for 1 Division, toward security in the collective national interest.
Buratai, however, gave assurance of the commitment of the army to support the welfare of officers and men of 1 Division and their families.
He also urged the personnel to remain loyal and committed to ensuring the unity and peace in 1 Division area of operations and the country, as a whole.
Earlier, the the General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Major General Mohammed Mohammed, said the performance in the ongoing operation whirl punch has drastically reduced criminality in the country.
Mohammed said: “This gathering brings another forum to pay tribute to our fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for the peace and unity of our country.
“I urge the men of the Division to be abreast with the new training circle of the 2019 activities.”