08 July 2013, Abuja – Harnessing of the military prowess the hydrocarbon endowments that Nigeria is blessed with are the two most essential ingredients the country should pay attention so as to attain the zenith of development that would put it at par with other developed nations of the world.
President Goodluck Jonathan stated this Saturday at the 2013 Armed Forces Day held at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
President Jonathan expressed optimism that once the nation is able to manage these two factors, being propelled to the level of a ‘technologically developed society’ will be a logical progression.
He, however, sought the support and cooperation of all Nigerians in order to make it possible for government to realise its objectives of bequeathing a peaceful atmosphere to all citizens, pledging that in the light of this the country will remain one and united.
The president said: “If as a nation, we break through the glass ceiling and become an industrialised and technologically developed country, there are two windows that we can exploit.”
He enumerated that: “One is through the armed forces and the second one is through the petroleum industry, encouraging our local content initiatives,” stressing that: “I believe, if we explore these two windows properly, we will soon break through our glass ceiling.”
Praising the armed forces for the onerous role of national integration and contribution to global stability, the president said he is “delighted to note that since 1999 the army and its sister services, the navy, the airforce have been remained highly professional service under democratic control, discharging their constitutional roles with … success.”
Giving an update on the achievements recorded with the declaration of emergency in three North-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, the president said the initiative, “which falls within our comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy,” became imperative “following the increasing destabilizing activities by terror groups.”
Denouncing terror as anti-human and retrogressive, Jonathan indicated that he is satisfied with “the initial assessment report of the conduct of the military operation since the emergency declaration,” saying that it “revealed that our strategy has been well thought out and is progressing satisfactorily.”
According to him: “Government services and private businesses have resumed in areas previously infested by these unpatriotic elements.”
“Very importantly, the people are regaining their lives with confidence,” he stated as he commended the Nigerian Army and the security agencies for their gallantry and patriotism, while also commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives.
“Without doubt, the operational engagement to bring peace, especially to the northern part of our country also come with associated costs in lives, injuries, property and family dislocation,” he noted.
He continued: “Once again, I send my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died safeguarding our sovereignty. The nation will never forget their sacrifices.”
He pointed out that the emergency situation has further burnished the outstanding pedigree of the armed forces, by showing to the world their high degree of expertise and commitments to duty.
He assured that the federal government “will continue to encourage you to succeed and commended those who were honoured with various categories of award, directing the service chiefs to “find a way where we can retain some of these very brilliant brains we have in the armed forces even after retirement,” suggesting that “they should continue to help to develop this country.”
He also urged the armed forces to continue strengthening their “collaborations and synergy with other security agencies in our country as well as with friendly partner institutes in order to enhance your efforts and effectiveness.”
– Muhammad Bello, This Day