President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Nigerian Armed Forces to ensure the sustenance of peaceful co-existence among ethnic groups across the country.
He said that despite the “political madness” in some parts of the country, it was duty bound for the military to ensure Nigeria’s survival as a geo-political entity.
President Buhari made the remarks at an event in Abuja where he received the captured flag of the Boko Haram terrorists from the Sambisa forest.
The flag was presented to the President on Friday night by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor.
“We will do our best to build the national institutions in the country. All these political madness in the northeast, the Niger Delta or in the east should not be allowed to cause division or any form of tension in the country.
“There are 250 ethnic groups, so keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done, even for your personal reason you must make sure this country remains united and stronger,” the President said.
The Commander-in-Chief, who went down memory lane, recalled his ordeal which he said would have cost his life while in the military.
He stated further that he was aware of the challenges facing the military having spent over 25 years in the service.
President Buhari also recollected how he was removed as the Head of State, following his refusal to adhere to an advice from the IMF, World Bank to devalue the naira and increase prices of fuel and flour.
“I refused and gave my reasons and the next thing I knew, I was removed and detained for three and half years.
“As a civilian president, I will do my best and I’m telling you all these because you are part of the leadership of this great country and God willing we will remain great,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, assured the President that the military would continue to mop up the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents.
He said that the armed forces would also restore calm in other troubled areas of the country, stressing that the military would remain apolitical.
General Buratai also highlighted the functions of the Brigade of Guards, saying they not only provide security to the President but for the whole of the Federal Capital Territory.
He urged personnel of the brigade to maintain the courage and discipline they have exhibited in 2017 and beyond.
The Commander, Brigade of Guards, Brigadier General Musa Yusuf, delivered the vote of thanks at the regimental dinner night organised to mark the end of drilling year of the brigade.
The event was attended by dignitaries including the National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs, the Inspector General of Police and the Presidential aides among others.