by Fidelis Soriwei and Olalekan Adetayo
President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday decorated the new service chiefs appointed on Friday. He charged them to tackle the spate of terrorism being experienced in some parts of the country as well as end crude oil theft on the nation’s territorial waters.
Jonathan, assisted by Vice President Namadi Sambo, decorated the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Ibrahim; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, with their new ranks at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika was not decorated as he retained his position as the Chief of Army Staff.
The President assured the service chiefs of his support always and promised a better welfare package for the armed forces.
The President said, “May I further reiterate that the security of life and property in all parts of this country is a sacred obligation which our administration will do everything in its power to live up to. We cannot allow threat to national security to compromise our national transformation efforts.
“In this regard, we will step up initiatives aimed at strengthening and repositioning our security agencies for greater efficiency to discharge their constitutional responsibilities.”
Jonathan told Ezeoba to quickly settle down and tackle the issue of security on the nation’s territorial waters with a view to ending the scourge of crude oil theft in the county.
“The unacceptable rising incidences of crude oil theft must be tackled frontally. Considering the direct adverse implication of the activities of crude oil theft on our national economy, I expect the Chief of Naval Staff and other service chiefs to immediately go to work to urgently bring the issue of crude oil theft to an end.”
Jonathan commended Admiral Oluseyi Petinrin and Air Marshall Mohammed Umar for their dedication and patriotism while in charge as the CDS and CAS.
Ibrahim thanked the President on behalf of the new service chiefs and assured them of their commitment and determination to deal decisively with the security challenges.
Meanwhile, the outgoing Chief of Defence Staff, Petinrin, in his valedictory address stated that the Federal Government had made a tremendous progress in the campaign against terrorism in the country.
Petinrin stated however that the military wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much in combating the terror threat and reducing it without the cooperation of the media.
Earlier, the outgoing Chief of Air Staff, Umar, urged the Air Officers to note the importance of other services in the conduct of joint operations without underestimating the combat capabilities of the Air Force in the quest to win battles.
Speaking also, Ezeoba said the Navy must be prepared to address an existing challenge of discipline to be able to achieve target objectives.
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