Today, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to eradicating all forms of criminality, terrorism, and poverty in Nigeria.
The President of Nigeria and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has already stated that the administration is putting plans and policies into place that will provide Nigerians the tools they need to battle poverty, crime, and terrorism.
Today, September 30, during the passing-out parade of Cadets from the 70 Regular Course, Direct Short Service Course 27 (Army), and Direct Short Service Course 31 (Air Force) of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna, President Tinubu dropped a hint. He was represented by his deputy, Vice President Kashim Shettima.
At the passing-out procession, Vice President Shettima read from the President’s speech titled “The Heroes of Nigeria’s Path to Prosperity and Security,” saying, “Every day, every minute, we are reminded of the effects of economic and social disintegration around us. In order to provide chances for our people, we advocate cooperation and the creation of bilateral and international alliances.
“We are putting programmes and policies into place to give our folks the tools they need to confront the problems of poverty, crime, and terrorism. This administration has been vigilant in coming up with solutions to lessen their effects and improve national security in everything from preparing for the food security crisis brought on by the Russian-Ukrainian war to responding to banditry attacks on farmers, natural disasters like floods, and the effects of military coups.
President Tinubu stated that the nation’s national defence and security strategy has entered a new age as part of efforts to deal ruthlessly with the criminal elements.
This, he said, will be motivated by a firm resolve to face the significant risks and difficulties that we face within the West African sub-region.
“As Chairman of the ECOWAS, we are assiduously working to improve our regional conflict management and development systems, and I have asked all heads of defence and security institutions to join in their efforts to safeguard our nation’s integrity and well-being. It is not negotiable to create a path for more peace, security, and development throughout West Africa and beyond, he continued.
The President did note, however, that he would treat every region equally and give them a sense of belonging in his government in order to combat the poverty inflicted on Nigerians by the activities of the terror groups, according to Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Communications Stanley Nkwocha in a press statement made available to clust on Sunday.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, justice is the foundation of prosperity; therefore, we will be fair to each region,” he said. Whether it be combating the secessionist forces sabotaging the stability and economic growth of the good people of the South-East, stepping up our efforts to defeat the counter-insurgency in the North East, pursuing normalcy in the North-West, or making the farmer-herder problems a thing of the past in the North-Central, every group will be treated as equal and given a sense of belonging in our government.
“While I appreciate that we have taken courageous actions to strengthen our economy, our resolve to doing so remains unwavering even as some developed economies face the prospect of a recession. We are working harder to put concrete measures into place that will lessen the hardships brought on by the elimination of fuel subsidies and the harmonisation of currency rates.
Our immediate actions, including lowering taxes on strategic manufacturing industries, distributing grains from the national reserve to vulnerable populations, providing fertiliser and farm inputs, and offering lenient loan terms to small and medium-sized businesses, all serve as a clear message to our country.
“We firmly stand by our people, determined to lead our nation down a path of accelerated economic growth and opportunities, where no one lives off handouts,”
The president further noted that the passing-out parade was not merely a function to mark the transition of the graduates to a more active phase of duty to their fatherland and expressed his pride in the dedication and dignity with which the NDA and its alumni have protected Nigeria.
The event “stands as a symbol of our enduring commitment to the ideals of patriotism and investment in our human capital,” he said.
The passing-out procession of the cadets from the 70 Regular Course, Direct Short Service Course 27 (Army), and Direct Short Service Course 31 (Air Force) makes me happy, he said.
President Tinubu continued: “Our solemn commitment to safeguarding Nigeria’s security hinges upon a crucial realisation: without vigilant attention to the very foundations and individuals who fortify order and stability, this promise remains unattainable. It is here, at the Nigerian Defence Academy, that this promise crystallises into action.
“In a world characterised by swift advancements and transformative technologies, our mission is clear: we strive to nurture not just ordinary defenders but paragons of excellence, both among men and women, who serve as vigilant protectors of our cherished nation.
“Since 1964, this institution has moulded the character, physique, and intellect of valiant officers and academic specialists beyond the shores of this country. Year after year, this Academy attracts the most ambitious among us to train them and reintegrates them into society.
“Year after year, we reaffirm that sound education is the ultimate security strategy, and our resilient Armed Forces are proof of this. This prized legacy, thankfully, is one to which we are not the only testifiers. There’s an international consensus on the quality of this Academy, an institution that has given a sense of purpose to alumni from as far as Zimbabwe, Uganda, Togo, Sierra Leone, Niger, Central African Republic, Chad, and Burkina Faso”.
Addressing the graduating Cadets, President Tinubu pointed out that like those before them, they were “stepping into a world fraught with threats, a world that demands unique skill-sets to conquer the adversaries of the state.
“They are going to find themselves in a dynamic landscape, one marked by combat and regimental realities vastly different from those encountered by their predecessors”.
The President further asked the authorities of the NDA to access the support it requires to invest in scientific research and technological innovations, as well as develop prototypes and concepts that align with local content policies of the Federal Government.
He noted: “The future of our great country doesn’t only rest upon the valour of these young patriots but also the curricula with which our warriors and scholars are formed.
“If we must take the centre stage in protecting our people, this Academy must access the support it requires to invest in scientific research and technological innovations and develop prototypes and concepts that align with the Federal Government’s local content policies.
“This esteemed institution was founded to lead the way and boasts research centers dedicated to exploring scientific inquiries and translating the our grandest ideas and theories into reality. Now is the time for us to be the model for the continent.”
Welcoming the young cadets as they join the ranks of the nation’s patriotic heroes, President Tinubu congratulated the Commandant and the entire NDA community for upholding their noble tradition.
Earlier, the Commandant, Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Maj.-Gen. John O. Ochai, expressed gratitude to President Tinubu for his unwavering commitment and support to the academy towards the realisation of the noble dreams of its founding fathers.
He applauded the personnel and staff of the academy for their unwavering efforts in discharging their duties, as well as the graduating cadets for their tireless efforts throughout their training.
The commandant reminded the graduating cadets that the training they have undergone in the academy would enable them to take leadership responsibilities and positions as military officers of Nigeria.
The event witnessed parades, march past, presentation of prizes to best graduating Cadets, conferment of commission, presentation of parchment of commission as well as administering of the oath of allegiance.
The passing-out parade was well attended by eminent dignitaries, including Senate President, Sen. Godswill Akpabio; Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Ali Ndume; Governors Uba Sani of Kaduna State and Kefas Agbu of Taraba State; Deputy Governor of Borno State, Umar Kadafur; Minister of Defence, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru, and Minister of State for Defence, Alhaji Bello Matawalle.
Others are Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, and Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Maj.-Gen. John Ochai, among others.