Tuesday, December 2, 2014 11:56 pm
Former Head of State , Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on Tuesday in Uyo called on the Nigerian Armed Forces to go all out to flush out the Boko Haram insurgents from the country.
Represented by retired Brig-Gen. Buba Marwa, Gowon made the call at the 2014 Chief of Army Staff Annual Conference holding at the Le Meridain Hotel, Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
He said that flushing out the insurgents was a task the armed forces, especially the Army, must accomplish without delay.
“I have not lost confidence in our armed forces. I want you to retrieve your honour by reversing some of these lapses into successes, losses into victories, and negative opinions into positive opinions.
“I charge you to go all out to flush those insurgents (Boko Haram) from our territories all the way back to where they came from.
“I trust you will win, I wish you the best of luck in your renewed endeavour,” the former Head of State said.
Gowon said that the Chief of Army Staff and the commanders needed to urgently correct the negative perception about Nigerian soldiers who in the past had a record of professionalism and competence.
In his remarks President Goodluck Jonathan said one of the cardinal pillars of his transformation agenda was the safety, security and wellbeing of all Nigerians and other residents in the country, irrespective of ethnic, religious or political affiliations.
Represented by the Minister of Defence, retired Lt-Gen. Aliyu Gusau, Jonathan said that the protection of the citizens was a duty he sought to perform and devoted his entire being, time and resources toward its attainment
He said that it was in line with the protection of the Nigerian citizens and those resident in the country that the government was ever committed to providing a safe environment to all law abiding Nigerians to do their legitimate businessess.
”At this junction let me reiterate that the nation continues to look up to the military, particularly the army, in this challenging moment in our history,” the president said.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Kenneth Minimah, said the conference was for the army to review its activities in 2014 and make projections for the coming year in order to enhance its operational readiness.
Minimah also said that the conference provided a forum for the army leadership to reassess their preparedness in carrying out its constitutional roles especially in the face of contemporary national and global security challenges.
He said the conference would adopt a town hall meeting format in order to offer a cross section of lower cadre officers the opportunity to meet and interact with the leadership of the army on pertinent issues affecting the service.