Amid disheartening news of the Nigeria Police having to contend with high level of insecurity in the country and in the heat of the Nigerian Army’s protracted battle against terrorist insurgency that sometimes results in high casualty figures, nothing could be more morale-boosting than for the embattled policemen and soldiers to hear reassuring words from their Commander-in-Chief. Reassurances of imminent upward review of salary and rank structures in particular convey much needed confidence-building inspirational motivation to trigger zealous determination to put up a robust defense of the fatherland and the citizenry from insurgents and criminals alike.
This was the essence of the recent emphasis on enhancement of welfare and entitlements of policemen and soldiers by President Muhammadu Buhari appropriately timed to counter the politically-motivated demoralizing narratives that contrived and exaggerated accounts of the state of insecurity and the fierce military assaults on retreating terrorists. The President, as a valiant veteran General himself, must necessarily have a deeper conscientious understanding and passionate appreciation of the uniqueness of the human resolve to willingly accept to offer the supreme sacrifice, as security forces do, to uphold the territorial integrity and internal security of the country.
Hear him speaking at the last Chief of Army Staff Conference in Maiduguri: “I know that you are doing your best to reverse this trend and I want to assure you that no effort will be spared in providing the necessary support you require to complete the task. I urge you all to keep up the good work. I must also convey the deep gratitude of the Government and people of Nigeria to the late soldiers and their families for their heroic sacrifices……..It is a must win war. I want to encourage our troops not to be distracted by whatever speculations but to remain focused and committed to the task of eliminating Boko Haram from the face of the earth.”
The Commander-in-Chief then authoritatively declared “I want to reassure you that as your Commander-In-Chief, I will do everything within my powers to continue empowering you by providing all the necessary equipment, force multipliers and enablers required for you to prevail on the field. I also want you to be aware that I am currently looking into measures to improve your entitlements and welfare generally.” These words adequately conveyed a sincere appreciation of the deadly hazards involved in fighting for the fatherland as well as the heart-felt sympathies and unconditional readiness to reciprocate with all the necessary support and incentives such that the average Nigerian soldier’s patriotic fervor will be rekindled to keep the flag flying by taking the battle to the enemy forces.
The President exhibited similar inspirational leadership posture in his recent interaction with members of the Nigeria Police Service Commission at the Presidential Villa, where he spoke on the inability of the police to perform their primary duties of law enforcement which had necessitated government’s action in drafting the military to the streets often to help maintain law and order. He remarked “from Taraba to Sokoto to the South-South, people don’t feel secure until they see the military”.
He then commendably acknowledged that the situation was related to the conditions of service of the policemen by unhesitatingly disclosing his welcome decision to do the needful to redress their plight as well as have the desired impact on internal security. “I am pleased to make the increase in salaries and allowances in the hope that will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system,” the President announced while also emphasizing that more efficient policing of the country would raise the confidence of both the government and Nigerians and allow the military to be restricted to its core mandate of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
These insightful interventions by President Buhari followed by most appropriate initiatives that conveyed acknowledgement of the challenging circumstances that had been neglected or treated with hollow expressions of intention merely for cheap political gains in the past, represent another marvelous manifestation of the meaningful change agenda on which majority of Nigerians hinged their endorsement of the Buhari Presidency as the much sought after turning point from the trajectory of failed nation.
The identification of national security as a major policy priority of the Buhari Administration may not have been different from the propaganda pronouncements of past administrations, but the systematic implementation of result-oriented policy initiatives that are manifestly innovative and highly impactful in achieving positive change in the national interest backed by focused presidential orders, is unprecedented. Nigerians now have the vindication of their confidence in President Buhari’s unique capacity to translate campaign promises into beneficial policies and programmes as will soon be witnessed in national defense and internal security. From whom much is expected, much more should be given!
– Goodluck, wrote this piece from Port Harcourt.
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