Don’t waiver in your support for democracy, Jonathan tells military
Abuja—President Goodluck Jonathan (in photo), weekend, told the military what they needed to do to qualify as the ‘Nigerian armed forces of my (his) dream’ saying ‘your role in sustaining democracy in the last 10 years is highly commendable and a testimony to your unalloyed loyalty to the nation and constituted authority, adding you must not waiver.
Speaking at the graduation of 125 officers of Course 18 of the National Defence College made up of 52 Army Colonels, 25 Navy Captains and 30 Group Captains among others, the President hailed the commitment of the military to excellence sayingg, “your professionalism has restrained you from being lured into political governance even in the face of uncertainty and dark clouds over our nation in the past few years.”
Pledges FG’s support
Emphasizing the Federal Government’s determination to ensure a well equipped and trained military that will carry out its constitutional roles creditably, the President who was represented by Defence Minister, Adetokumbo Kayode said, “Government is willing to support all genuine efforts aimed at transforming our armed forces and other security outfits.”
“The important role of the armed forces in our contemporary system demands that they get the best professional training and adequately equipped to meet the growing security challenges in our domestic and international environment”, he said.
“In this regard, my administration is poised to reposition our armed forces and security management apparatus to meet our security obligations at home and abroad.”
Expressing his belief in the notion that ‘there cannot be development without security and no security without development’, the President said, “as we focus our attention and channel national energy towards development, the effort will be a charade without adequate security. Therefore, any serious administration must pay attention to the welfare and professional needs of the armed forces.”
“My administration will like to leave a legacy for the armed forces; a legacy of improved welfare and greater commitment to professionalism. I am prepared to commit as much resources as possible to ensure that you are properly equipped and trained to stand shoulder to shoulder with any comparable military organisation in the world.”
He therefore challenged the Ministry of Defence and the National Defence College to “come out with a plan of action to enhance your capability for military research and development, indigenous defence production and technological transfer”.
Earlier, Commandant of the NDC, Rear Admiral TJ Locoson stated that over the last 18 years, the College has made appreciable impact on several sectors of the nation pointing out that, “products of the college have held and are still holding very strategic appointments and their contributions in promoting national security and development have attracted both national and international commendations”.
“The profile of the college has continued to rise since inception in 1992. the college started with 30 participants but the current course 18 has 125 participants.
Similarly, the number of international participants grew from one in 1996 and peaked at 11 in 2008. The current course 18 has participants from 8 African countries; this is a reflection of both the growing demand for vacancies in the college and capacity of the college to respond to such demands’, the commandant said.
Present at the occasion were the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, Service Chiefs and the Inspector General of Police as well as the Chairman Senate Committee on Defence, Ibrahim Idah and Chairman House Committee on Defence, Hon Oluwole Oke.
By Kingsley Omonobi
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