Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, has ordered a review of the terms and conditions of service of members of the Armed Forces, saying that their welfare would continue to receive priority attention from his administration.
The President, represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, said in his address at the 2011 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) at Uyo Township Stadium, in south-south Akwa Ibom State, that the leadership of the Nigerian army should be lauded for ensuring regular training and retraining of personnel.
He assured that the federal government would continue to support the Armed Forces.
According to the President, “the welfare of personnel of the Armed Forces will remain a major priority for this administration at all times. In this direction, I have ordered the review of the terms and conditions of service of members of the Armed Forces for the benefit and well being of personnel and their dependants.
“The federal government on its part will continue to support your programmes in order to ensure that you have the enabling environment to perform your roles more effectively.”
The President alluded to the rising spate of bombings across the country, enjoining Nigerians to be security conscious at all times.
But President Jonathan advised that any aggrieved Nigerian should be able to seek redress in the court of law rather than resorting to jungle justice.
Said he, “I implore all Nigerians to be security conscious at all times and to cooperate with security agencies to halt what appears to be emerging ugly trend. Any aggrieved Nigerians must seek redress in court and certainly not resort to jungle justice. Our security agencies have a duty to contain any act of violence or lawlessness in any part of the country.”
In his welcome address, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, recalled that the first officer to be commissioned into the Nigerian Army was Brig.-Gen. Wellington Bassey, from Akwa Ibom State.
The 2011 NADCEL, he said, was aimed at showcasing the achievements of the Army in the last one year, which included the repair of 85 armoured tank vehicles and building of local gunboats through partnership with a local company in Port Harcourt.
Gen Ihejirika thanked President Jonathan for his continued support and encouragement to the military, pledging the Army’s commitment and loyalty to democratic values and constituted authorities.
While expressing delight that the army has been receiving commendations from far and near about its performance, Ihejirika, however, noted there was room for improvement.
He promised to consolidate on the achievements recorded so far to further position the Service for enhanced performance.
Highlights of the 2011 NADCEL were a colourful ceremonial parade and combat match past, display of war equipment and presentation of COAS awards to 12 officers and one soldier who have excelled in various assignments