President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Nigerian Army to remain focused on the task of eliminating terrorist group, Boko Haram, and bring lasting peace to the troubled northeast region.
The president made this charge while speaking at the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Annual Conference in Maiduguri, Borno State on Wednesday, November 28, 2018.
The president noted that the officers and soldiers who are 'fighting against the curse of terrorism in the northeast' deserve all the attention that the nation's leadership can demonstrate.
Noting that the Armed Forces play a critical role in safeguarding the country, he charged the military's leadership to ensure that their plans and programmes meet the nation's security challenges.
"As president of the country, I'm determined to ensure that every citizen feels safe and secure in all parts of the country," he said.
While acknowledging the Army's recent operational losses to Boko Haram with over 100 soldiers reported to be dead, the president said the Army must remain committed to defeating the terrorist group.
He said, "In the recent months and recent days, there have been some operational losses in the northern part of Borno, particularly in Jilli, Arege and Metele.
"I know that you're doing your best to reverse this trend and I want to assure you that no effort will be spared in providing the necessary support you require to complete the task.
"We remain committed to ending the crisis in the northeast and making the area safe for all. I urge you all to keep up the good work.
"I'm also painfully aware that some gallant officers and soldiers have paid the supreme price in the course of these anti-terrorist operations.
"While we remember them, I must also convey the deep gratitude of the government and people of Nigeria to the late soldiers and their families for their heroic sacrifices.
"Our thoughts and prayers are also with all other victims of Boko Haram's atrocities and their families."
The president said security remains one of the cardinal objectives of his administration and promised that no effort will be spared to support troops, including reviewing their welfare package.
Even though President Buhari declared in 2015 that Boko Haram had been technically defeated, the group has carried out several deadly attacks since then, with an increase in the number of attacks on troops happening in 2018.
While concluding his speech on Wednesday, the president urged troops to not be distracted by any speculations and focus on finishing off the terrorist group.
"I want to encourage our troops not to be distracted by whatever speculations but remain focused and committed to the task of eliminating Boko Haram from the face of the earth," he said.