President Muhammadu Buhari has hailed the Nigerian Army, saying it has saved the country from disintegration.

Buhari said this is a result of their effort in flushing out criminals across the country.

He disclosed this at the Nigerian Army Day Celebration at the Army Headquarters Command Officers Mess in Abuja.

Buhari said, “I am highly impressed with the conduct of operations of the Nigerian Army that flushed out the terrorists and criminals from their strongholds. You have saved Nigeria from disintegration and have demonstrated a high sense of professionalism in your operations.

Represented by the Minister of Defence, Major Gen Bashir Magashi (Rtd), Buhari said, “I salute the courageous and gallant exploits of the personnel of the Nigerian Army. | want to assure you that this Government and indeed the Nigerian People deeply appreciate your noble sacrifices to safeguard our nation.

“Let me reiterate that under my watch, this government has resolve to do everything within its constitutional power to ensure the security and safety of law-abiding citizens. This is a commitment we have made and must continue to keep.

“For members of the Nigerian Army and indeed the Armed Forces, | want to assure you of my government’s commitment to your welfare. We will continue to provide you with the needed support to enhance your welfare. In the same vein, | am aware of the challenges confronting the Nigerian Army such as inadequate equipment and insufficient funds for maintenance and training as well as other logistics constraints affecting your operational efficiency.

“As you may be aware, my government has put in place a mechanism that would address these problems in phases albeit in the face of other competing national demands.

Noting that the Nigerian Army Day has remained one of the pillars which continues to give hope to the citizens in our collective aspirations to be a stable peaceful and developed democratic society, he said, “In its internal security role, the Army fought gallantly during the civil war to safeguard the unity of our dear nation and to guarantee our collective peace and security,

“I am particularly happy to note that despite the Army’s involvement in politics, it has since 1999 remained a highly professional Army subordinated to democratic civilian control. The Nigerian Army as part of the larger Armed Forces has continued to discharge its constitutional roles with great success. It is to the credit of the Army that despite the current internal security challenges, the nation’s commitments to regional and international peace and security remain unshaken”.

“1 am particularly happy to note the increasing understanding and cooperation within the military, as well as the inter-agency cooperation in the fight against the terrorists and other criminal elements in the North East.

“This jointness no doubt has led to the decimation of some terrorists and criminal elements in our society. Government services and private businesses have since resumed in areas hitherto controlled by these terrorists.

“Therefore, as we celebrate the achievements of the Nigerian Army and all security agencies, | would like to thank all well-meaning Nigerians for their support and understanding.

“This Government appreciates and commends recent efforts by individuals, community members, traditional leaders and numerous civil society organizations especially the youths that are cooperating and supporting the security agencies in exposing all agents of destruction and instability in our polity.

“As a responsible Government, we are conscious of the challenges being faced by the citizenry. | would like to assure you that these would be resolved in the shortest possible time.

“This Government is also aware that the achievements of the Nigerian Army also come with associated costs. Some soldiers have lost their lives, some have sustained injuries and a significant number have been away from their families for long periods.

” | once again send my condolences to the families of those who died in an effort to safeguard the sovereignty of our great nation. May their gentle souls rest in peace. | urge the NA to continue to abide by its ethics and ethos and to keep to its Rules of Engagement while ensuring that human rights are respected in the conduct of military operations”.