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Don’t Give Criminal Elements Breathing Space, Buhari Tells Military


President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the military not to give the criminals a breathing space to undermine the country’s national security.

Speaking on Thursday during an official visit to Maiduguri, Borno state capital, the president commended the troops for their loyalty and selfless service to Nigeria.

The National leader, however, asked the military asked not to relent in their efforts to bring an end to insurgency in the region.

President Buhari assured the troops that his administration will sustain its investment in the armed forces.

He said: “Your collective efforts have resulted in the relative peace being enjoyed in the region today. Under my watch, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have been provided with a firm strategy and clear sense of direction to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.

“We should not allow our adversaries the opportunity or breathing space to challenge or undermine our national interests and core values. The defence and security agencies should rest assured of the Federal Government’s unalloyed commitment to winning the battle against terror and criminality.

“I am particularly happy to note the increasing understanding and cooperation within the military, as well as the inter-agency cooperation in the fight against the terrorists and other criminal elements in the North East.

“The outcome of this synergy is evidenced by the successes recorded in the ongoing Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO which has so far degraded the insurgents’ capabilities in the Timbuktu Triangle, Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad Region.”

The president added that his administration is developing a strategy for post-war reconstruction and expressed hope that it will lead to the speedy resettlement of displaced persons and peace in the north-east

“Alongside investment in development and reconstruction, we will sustain our investment in the Armed Forces in a manner that balances the “carrot and stick.

“Several interventions by this government have led to the procurement and delivery of large consignments of critical combat enablers, including high calibre weapons and ammunition.

“Many have been injected into the Theatre and soon other equipment that has just arrived in the country would also be deployed to the Theatre of operations. Much more equipment will be procured for the Armed Forces to cater for both the short and long-term requirements.

“I would like, at this point to also commend the hierarchy of our Armed Forces for their strategic foresight in ensuring that some of our critical military equipment are fabricated locally.

“The repairs and maintenance of some of these vital weapons are now being carried out in the country thereby saving the nation a lot of foreign exchange and also creating jobs for our teeming population.

“There is no room for complacency, and no need to be less than 100 per cent alert at all times.”

The president said there is still a lot of work to be done to completely restore peace to the north-east and other parts of the country, and he asked the armed forces to remain steadfast and “see this war to a conclusive end”.