A security outfit, Citizens Initiative for Security Awareness (CISA), has said that the Nigerian Armed forces deserve commendations for paying the ultimate sacrifice to protect the country.
National Coordinator of CISA, Chidi Omeje, who made the assertion at a press conference in Abuja said that despite serious and deadly security challenges and threat to national unity and security, it is only the Armed Forces that can protect and defend the sovereignty of Nigeria.
Announcing that the Army deserves commendation as Nigeria celebrates 60th anniversary, CISA noted that it contended with the relentless hydra-headed monster of insecurity determined to destroy the peace and stability of the country.
CISA also lamented that the gallantry of the troops, has sadly, come with huge costs, noting that a number of soldiers have paid the supreme price, while many others are now with lost limbs or maimed for life and young families of military personnel thrown into mourning and sorrow.
“All over the world, the establishment and maintenance of the Armed Forces is a mark of independence, sovereignty and nationhood.
“By virtue of being the most nationally representative and cohesive institution in the country, the one with effective presence throughout its length and breadth, and the institution with constitutional responsibility for protecting and defending the country, the Armed Forces of Nigeria has been a key agent of unity, progress and respect of the country.
“From international peace keeping operations, to the civil war to keep the nation one and the consistent internal security operations, the military has continued to live up to their constitutional responsibilities.
“Unfortunately, our dear country is currently assailed in many fronts by various enervating security challenges. In fact, never in the history has Nigeria been so buffeted with the multiplicity of internal security challenges, ranging from terrorism to armed banditry, herdsmen-farmers clashes, kidnapping, armed robbery, separatist agitation, cult and ritual killings, etc, as we are witnessing today.
“Never in its history, not even during the civil war, has our military been so stretched with the task of providing internal security assistance to the point of deploying troops to about 34 of the 36 states in the country, as is the case today.
“Who ever imagined that Nigerians that are hitherto acclaimed for an almost insatiable appetite for life could contemplate wearing the suicide vest to blow up themselves and others or even plant bombs in the bus stations, churches and mosques, with intent to kill as many Nigerians?
“Whoever thought that the north east region of the country will be engulfed with the insurgency and terrorism of the kind we are contending with today?
“Who ever imagined that bandits will spring up from the uplands of the Sahel region to kill, kidnap and destroy lives and living of Nigerians in that axis? Who ever thought that after the 30 months bitter civil war that the ghost of Biafra will rise again in the form of separatist group called IPOB?
“Whoever believed that the clashes of farmers and herdsmen in the Benue belt will result to deadly outcomes, the type that we witnessed of late? Whoever imagined this sort of extremism, bestiality and savagery in our dear country?
“We only read or heard about such happenings in distant lands, far away from our clime! But the reality has dawn on us that we have caught the bug of contemporary security challenges that are in fact worse than those from the distant lands that we only read about!” CISA noted.
Speaking further, he said: “In all of these serious and deadly security challenges and threat to national unity and security, who else but the Armed Forces of Nigeria are called upon to protect Nigerians and defend the sovereignty of Nigeria? Who else are paying the ultimate price and taking bullets on our behalf if not our gallant troops?