President Muhammadu Buhari has insisted that Boko Haram insurgents have been degraded by the Nigerian military, stressing that the sect “can no longer launch military style attacks as they had done in the past.’’
Represented by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at an Inter-Denominational Church Service to mark the 2016 Armed Forces and Remembrance Day at the National Christian Centre, Abuja on Sunday, Buhari said despite the diverse culture and religion, Nigerians should push for unity rather try to cause division.
He said, “The armed forces contribute and represent one of the most patriotic institutions in the land playing a leading role in nation building.
“It diligently attends to their traditional duty of defending and protecting our territorial integrity.
“Their remarkable efforts in particular at this time in combating insurgency in the north-east is greatly appreciated by the Nigerian people
“Boko Haram and insurgency in the north-east has now been degraded militarily; the insurgents no longer hold territory and can no longer launch military style attacks as they had done in the past.
“we are confident and we pray that with God on our side, the armed forces of Nigeria will complete the work that they have started.
“They will also in due course continue to render the kind of service that they have rendered to our great nation and even better in the years to come.
“Our armed forces and military have been assisting and will continue to help our communities in the affected areas to recover and resume their normal lives especially in securing their communities, clearing land mines and keeping terrorists out.’’
He further enjoined Nigerians to be united saying, “Let us renew our determination to build a strong and united nation where freedom, justice, peace and prosperity are easily within reach; a nation where we emphasise those things that bind us rather than those things that divide us.
“We are a country of diverse cultures and even religions but let us tap more into that diversity for strength rather than for strife.”
Buhari who celebrated the families of the fallen heroes, their wives and children as well as their other family members, said, “No one has suffered as much loss as you have and no one can truly understand your pain but today our nation commends you.
“Your great loss is the gain of millions of Nigerians and generations yet unborn.
“We applaud you and the heroic men and women of our armed forces and we thank God for the worthy lives they lived.’’
Commending those who made contributions in various ways to support the military, the President noted, “On a day like this, we not only commend the gallantry of the armed forces; we remember in particular all those among them that have paid the supreme price.
“They belong to the distinguished company of those we refer to in our national anthem with the words, the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain.’’
“Today, we honour their service and their memories,” he stated.