The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, has called on Nigerians to put their trust in the members of the Armed Forces.

Musa said their sincerity in protecting the democratic system of government in place in the country, as well as the security of lives and property, should not be doubted.

Some persons had recently laid an ambush and killed 17 military personnel in the Okuama community in Delta State.

The slain personnel were said to have embarked on a peacekeeping mission when some irate youths ambushed and killed them on March 14.

Their remains were laid to rest at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja on Wednesday.

However, speaking at the closing ceremony of the Chief of Defence Staff Conference for Joint Task Force Commanders in Abuja on Thursday, Musa said the military exists because of the people.

Musa said, “Trust your armed forces. The armed forces are here for Nigerians. We are here to protect democracy and we want to assure you that we do our best until Nigeria is fully safe and secure.”

Musa said the military was working with the National Orientation Agency and other relevant stakeholders to help change the perception of the citizens about the military.

He added that this became imperative as the military needed the support of the citizens to restore peace in the country.

Musa said, “We are working with relevant organisations NOA among others to show Nigerians the Armed forces is for Nigerians. We are here to protect Nigerians, but with the challenges we are facing, we cannot do it alone. We need the support of all.”

Advising the commanders, the CDS urged to restore and sustain the spirit of cooperation with other security agencies.

He said, “One of the key takeaways from our discussion has been the importance of cooperation and collaboration. As commanders, we must foster a culture of partnership and synergy among our forces and across theatres. Let us restore and sustain the spirit of jointness in our respective task forces and integrate it into our day-to-day operations.”

He, however, urged the commanders not to rely only on foreign donors to sustain their operations.

Musa said, “In the areas of funding as discussed during the last meeting of Ministers of Defence and Chief of Defence Staff of the Lake Chad basin, We must explore other avenues of sustaining our operations and not relying solely on international donors.”