Nigeria in a state of emergency, Buhari tells new service chiefs

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Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday, told the nation’s new service chiefs that the nation is in a state of emergency, hence the need for them to be patriotic, and serve the country well.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President spoke during the first meeting he had with the service chiefs after their appointment on Tuesday.

The statement titled “President Buhari charges new service chiefs” indicated that the service chiefs were led to the meeting by the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd.).

The service chiefs are the Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Leo Irabor; Chief of Army Staff, Major-General I. Attahiru; Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral AZ Gambo; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshal IO Amao.

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The statement quoted the President as telling the service chiefs that “We’re in a state of emergency. Be patriotic, serve the country well, as your loyalty is to the country.

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“There’s nothing I can tell you about the service because you are in it. I was also in it, and I will pray for you.

“I also assure you that whatever I can do as Commander-in-Chief will be done, so that the people will appreciate your efforts.

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“You know the stage we were in 2015, you know the stage we are now, and the undertakings we made.

“We promised to secure the country, revive the economy, and fight corruption. None has been easy, but we have certainly made progress.”

Buhari was also said to have charged the service chiefs to be concerned about the morale of their officers and men, saying they should be made to feel physically and professionally secure.

He pledged that government would do its best in terms of equipment and logistics.

At the end of the meeting, Irabor, in an interview with State House correspondents, said Buhari told them that the expectations of Nigerians were high and they must do everything to meet them.

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He said, “The message from the President is that we, knowing the current security environment, must do everything possible to add value to the security disposition and the expectations are high and that we are quite mindful of that expectations. So, we collectively will work to achieve that.”

The CDS said the service chiefs were mindful of the demands and promised that they would do their best to restore security across the country.

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