The 128 new Regular Combatant Officer Cadets commissioned into the three services of the Armed Forces have been asked to be ready to die in defence of Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari said this while the commissioning of the new officers in Kaduna.
Among the officers are the first set of 19 female regular Combatant Officers in the history of Nigeria. Fifty-nine of the officers of the officers belong to the Army, 40-Navy while the remaining 29 belong to the Air Force, making them 128.
President Buhari who was the Reviewing Officer at Passing Out Parade of the 63rd Regular Course Cadets at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, told the newly commissioned officers that it was time to pay back what the country and their parents have invested in them.
Latest security challenge
Informing the young military officers of the latest security challenges posed by kidnappers, cattle rustlers and Niger Delta militants, he stated that “the Nigerian Government was approaching the security threats in a number of ways, including use of military might.’’
The president challenged the new military officers to remain apolitical in the discharge of their duties, as they join the military profession.
“You now belong to Nigeria, you are no longer indigenes of your respective states or villages, but officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and you must behave as such,” he stressed.
“The journey into the military career that you are starting today is turbulent and challenging, but interesting. Therefore, application of your training here in the academy will certainly see you through the journey.
“We inherited a badly managed war against insurgency in the Northeast, but now the capacity of the insurgents to launch attack has been curtailed while towns once taken by the insurgents have been liberated. The ongoing mop up operation is to clear remnants of insurgents from their hideouts, all of these are due to the gallant troops of the armed forces,’’ President Buhari explained.
According to him, “Our challenges go beyond Boko Haram but include kidnapping, cattle rustling and militancy in the Niger Delta which has impacted negatively on our economy.”
Speaking about the academy, the President commended the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, Commandant, Major General Mohammed Ibrahim for impressive face-lift of the academy, particularly with the building of the best Indoor Shooting Gallery in sub Saharan Africa.
The 128 new officers did their convocation as graduates of the premier military university (NDA) in West Africa on Thursday.