By Sunday Isuwa,
The Nigerian Army yesterday sounded a very strong note of warning to advocates of the country’s breakup, saying it will continue to work hard in ensuring that the country is kept as one.
Speaking at the 2017 Nigerian Army Day celebration held at the Army Resource Centre, Mambila Barracks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, said the military has done well in several military operations in different geo-political zones of the country.
There had been calls for secession, following a quit notice issued the Igbos to leave the North.
But the Buratai, while speaking at the event that had in attendance senior military officers (both serving and retired), said the Nigerian Army will continue to play it’s constitutional role in keeping Nigeria as one.
His words: “The Nigerian Army has done the country proud. We will continue to ensure that Nigeria remain as one. We will continue to play our constitutional role.
“There is a very sound civil military relationship between the army and Nigerians. In all our operations in the North East, South- South, South East and all other parts of the country, we have always maintained civil/military relationship”.
According to the Army chief, human rights abuses and other related issues reported to the service are being treated, adding that the Army won’t allow the unity of Nigeria to suffer.
Buratai said the 2017 Army Day celebration was low key because it was dedicated to intellectual platform.
Buratai who said the154 years of the Nigerian Army has been eventful, commended both retired and serving army officers for paying the supreme price in the cause of national unity.
The guest speaker, Gen Marthin Luther Agwai, said the Nigerian Army and the military generally cannot afford to loose what he described as the fourth generation war.
Agwai who took his time to advise the army officers on the new contemporary challenges, said the pre-world war, world war, second world war were entirely different from what he described as the fourth generation war.
Agwai who called on political leaders to support the Nigerian Army added that terrorism, which is in the class of the fourth generation war, will be defeated with the support of the politicians.
He said, “Every Nigerian must congratulate the Nigeria Army for stemming Boko Haram, Militancy and other security threats. The Nigeria army reflects the diversity of Nigeria. Some of us who have left the service will always say ‘I remember when I was a soldier’ because the extra-ordinary thing we enjoy is that when you are in the service, you live a professional life and unite with everyone despite our differences because the main aim is to defend our father land”.
He urged the Nigerian Army to always fall forward, look beyond the celebrations and support those who have sacrificed for other Nigerians to sleep.
He said a lot of Nigerians were demoralized on the war against Boko Haram, adding that the coming of the Buhari administration and the appointment of the service chiefs helped Nigerians to have a sense of relief.