"The Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially defeated and
degraded to the extent that they are only daring soft targets."
President Muhammadu Buhari has claimed that normalcy has returned to
all Boko Haram-ravaged areas in Nigeria.
He stated this on Wednesday while launching the 2020 Armed Forces
Remembrance Day Emblem and 'Appeal Fund' in Abuja.
Buhari claimed: "The nation is appreciative of the gallantry and
sacrifices of officers and men of our armed forces in the campaign
against insurgency and other internal security operations. This has
led to the return of normalcy in affected parts of the nation.
"The Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially defeated and
degraded to the extent that they are only daring soft targets.
Full Text Of President Buhari's Remarks:
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA,
ON OCCASION OF LAUNCHING 2020 ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY EMBLEM AND
APPEAL FUND WEDNESDAY, 16TH OCTOBER, 2019
I heartily welcome you all to the formal launch of the 2020 Armed
Forces Remembrance Day Celebration Emblem and Appeal Fund. Today, we
are once again gathered to acknowledge and commend the sacrifices of
our fallen heroes and veterans of First and Second World Wars,
Nigerian Civil War and Peace Support Operations around the world.
2. We must not forget those currently engaged in Internal Security
Operations, particularly the on-going war against insurgency in some
parts of the country. It is indeed befitting to honour the memory of
the gallant officers and men who paid the supreme sacrifice to keep
the country united. For those who survived with varying degrees of
incapacitation, they require our attention and care and we will
continue to provide and cater for them.
3. The Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration was intentionally
fixed for 15th of January, annually, to commemorate the end of our
civil war. It reminds us of the need to guard jealously the unity of
our country which was won at a great cost.
4. This day calls to mind the negative impact of strife and conflicts
and demands that as responsible citizens, we must at all times avoid
actions that emphasize our differences. There is no doubt that the
strength of Nigeria lies in her diversity. It behoves us therefore, to
engage in activities and endeavours that feed our diversity as a
source of strength not weakness.
5. The nation is appreciative of the gallantry and sacrifices of
Officers and Men of our Armed Forces in the campaign against
insurgency and other Internal Security Operations. This has led to the
return of normalcy in affected parts of the nation. The Boko Haram
terrorists have been substantially defeated and degraded to the extent
that they are only daring soft targets.
6. However, all hands must be on deck to check the attacks on soft
targets, mostly innocent Nigerians. The peace and security of Nigeria
is non-negotiable and the security agencies must continue to do their
work diligently. As a government, we will continue to provide
necessary logistical support to ensure that our Armed Forces operate
with the best modern warfare equipment, while at the same time
adequately addressing the issues of their welfare.
7. Likewise, government will remain steadfast in developing our
alliances with neighbours and friends in the international community
for the total defeat of the insurgents. The task of resettling and
rehabilitating our citizens as well as the reconstruction of
territories affected by the war will continue to be one of the
priorities of this Administration.
8. We shall not rest until all our displaced persons are safely
resettled into their communities without fear of further attacks. It
is for this reason that the North East Development Commission and
Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and
Social Development were established. The Executive Arm of Government
hereby commends the National Assembly for the passage of the Bill
establishing the Commission.
9. It is our hope that with prudent management of limited resources
and support from well-meaning Nigerians and Corporate bodies, the
Commission working in close collaboration with the Ministry and
friends abroad will be able to deliver on their mandate.
10. We are aware that it is the business of Government to provide the
enabling environment for businesses to thrive. We will not fail to
provide our citizens with an atmosphere that is devoid of security
threats and criminality, where life is stable and progress is certain.
11. Government is also well aware that an insecure environment stifles
businesses and undermines growth and prosperity. For this reason, we
will like to commend and reinforce our gratitude to our men and women
in the Armed Forces who have risen to the challenge of securing our
nation and providing enabling environment for national progress.
12. It is on this note that we acknowledge and commend the rising
trend, where business concerns offer discounted services to our men
and women in the Armed Forces in appreciation of their selfless
sacrifices to the fatherland. We commend these laudable initiatives
and urge more of our business concerns to do likewise. Such gestures
would no doubt encourage them in defence of our country and its
13. The unfortunate cost of the war against insurgency and other
Internal Security Operations, is the loss of lives of some of our
officers and men in the Armed Forces. These very sad occurrences
create deep wounds to loved ones. It is, therefore, our duty to ensure
that the loss of these bread winners does not relegate the spouses and
dependents to a life of want and deprivation. Government will do all
in its powers to look after the bereaved.
14. Service leaders must take urgent steps to settle the entitlements
of these affected citizens as well as the welfare packages designed
for their dependants. It is the responsibility of government to ensure
that the families of our fallen heroes do not suffer the loss of their
loved ones and at the same time be deprived of their due benefits.
15. To ensure that our veterans continue to share the comradeship that
existed while in Service and adequately cater for their welfare at
exit, the Federal Government established the Nigerian Legion. It is
delightful to note that the Legion is carrying out initiatives in
transportation, agriculture, housing and other ventures in partnership
with the private sector.
16. I am happy to note that the Legion has continued to be a rallying
point of veterans and has done its part in catering for the welfare of
their ailing members. I enjoin the leadership of the Legion to
continue in this spirit. I also urge Nigerians to accord them the
needed support, friendship and patronage.
17. As the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion, I wish to pledge my
continued support and that of the Federal Government to the
organisation. My appreciation goes to the State Governors who are
patrons in their respective States for the support they are providing
to the Legion.
18. Government agencies at the Federal and State levels should
continue to patronise services of Nigerian Legion Corps of
Commissionaires in the provision of security services. The potentials
of our ex-servicemen are enormous and the economy can tap into this
for national development.
19. As I launch the emblem shortly, I wish to call on all Nigerians
and others resident in Nigeria to procure and wear the emblems with
pride to identify with those who laid down their lives for the peace
and security of our fatherland. I encourage all to donate generously
in support of our veterans and dependants of fallen heroes.
20. Esteemed veterans, ladies and gentlemen, it is now my honour and
privilege to launch the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration
Emblem and Appeal Fund.
Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.