The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said the Army has restored normalcy to the creeks of the hitherto volatile Niger Delta, thereby increasing the level of socio-economic activities in the region.
He promised that the Army was poised to live to its constitutional responsibility by ensuring that all threats to the country’s national security were defeated at the earliest possible time.
Gen. Buratai, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Maj.-Gen. Jamil Sarham, who is also the Land Component Commander of Operation Delta Safe, spoke on Wednesday at the Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt.
He was special guest of honour at the annual June 12 lecture of the Unity House Foundation and the Garden City Leadership Initiative.
The lecture was themed: “National Security: Beyond Power, Passion and Politics”.
Gen. Buratai said: “The topic of the lecture -Insecurity – Bigger than Recession and a Bigger Threat to Democracy – is very contemporary and relevant as we mark the first Democracy Day on June 12. The security challenges facing the country at the moment have stretched the police and the military and indeed other security agencies, in personnel and resources.
“The Army, whose primary role is the defence of the territorial integrity of the country, is currently deployed in the 36 states and Abuja, on the secondary role of ‘Aid to Civil Authority’. This reality is by no means strange, as other great nations have passed through similar experiences in their history.
“A lot of progress has been made in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency, which hopefully is at its last stage. The main efforts have been achieved, as the insurgents’ capacity to hold territories have been greatly degraded.
“The Army is at the stage of conducting stabilisation operations, which will ensure that the civil populace in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps returns to their homes for socio-economic activities to thrive in their communities.
“Crimes, such as pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, sea piracy and kidnapping, have been reduced to the barest minimum. The Army would leave no stone unturned until all the criminals are brought to justice.”
The COAS also hailed members of the Unity House Foundation and Garden City Leadership Initiative for putting together the lecture, saying the initiative proved that the next generations were ready to take over the mantle of leadership of the country and tackle the challenges of their time.
Guest speaker at the lecture was immediate past Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada Edo State, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, while the Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Prof. Ndowa Lale, was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Hakeem Fewehinmi.
Panellists included Prof. Eme Ekekwe of UNIPORT; a frontline activist Elder T.K. Ogoriba and Ibiba Okunye, a lawyer.
Convener of Unity House Foundation Kingsley Wali described corruption as Nigeria’s greatest problem, stressing that good governance must be gotten right.