Maiduguri, the Borno State capital was agog for the President Muhammadu Buhari’s official visit to the state.
The President had touched down at the Nigeria Air Force Base in Maiduguri at 10.15 am where he was welcome by Governor Babagana Zulum and other top dignitaries.
Driving through the town in a long convoy, he was warmly received by an array of students, civil servants and other section of the society who have lined the streets.
The President while in the town commissioned some projects and visited the palace of the Shehu of Borno and latter had meeting with the Service Chiefs who had arrived the town on Wednesday ahead of the Commander in Chief.
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to visit on insurgents and bandits the ferocity of the nation’s firepower and the weight of the resolve to allow for peace and security.
Addressing men and officers of the Armed Forces in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital during a visit to assess the security situation of the country and to commission some projects, the President said: “By pooling together, the collective resources and comparative advantages of the Armed Forces and other security agencies, we hope the enemy will now feel the ferocity of our firepower and the weight of our resolve.”
“Under my watch, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have been provided a firm strategy and clear sense of direction to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country,” Mr Buhari said.
“Your collective efforts have resulted in the relative peace being enjoyed in the region today.
“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.”
President Buhari also assured military personnel his administration’s commitment to acquire more combat equipment to cater for both the short and long-term requirements in the fight against terrorism.
He said: “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 have just arrived 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.
“As personnel of our Armed Forces and security agencies, you must understand that these items of equipment must be put to good use against the terrorists and other criminal elements. There is no room for complacency, and no need to be less than 100 per cent alert at all times.
“As your Commander-in-Chief, I want to assure you that this government will continue to work towards the provision of timely funding and procurement of equipment for the Armed Forces and other security agencies. This is intended to boost the prosecution of the ongoing war to a logical conclusion and also to serve our collective interests and well-being.”
The President who used the occasion to condole with the families of the nation’s fallen heroes and pray for the souls of the departed, said: “I want to assure you that this administration will spare no effort or resources to ensure that the widows and children of our fallen heroes who paid the supreme price in defence of our beloved country, are well cared for.”
He however charged the men of the Armed Forces to continue the great work of defending the nation, he said: “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.”
He side by side the efforts of the Armed Forces and security agencies, his Administration is already developing a strategy for post-war reconstruction and peace-building.
He said: “Concerted efforts are being made to fast-track re-construction and development programmes in the affected communities in the North East.”
He told the soldiers that their collective efforts at decimating and degrading the terrorists and reaffirming the inviolable sovereignty of our nation is acknowledged, stressing that their steadfastness and untiring efforts in the face of the difficulties they experience in the Theatres of Operation is to his knowledge.
The president commended the troops’ resilience, reminding them that the war against terror was still on in their bid to completely restore peace in the northeast region, stem the activities of armed bandits in the North West and North Central, as well as deal with other security challenges across the country.