Written by Maryam Ahmadu-Suka,
Sunday, 09 September 2012
(with additional reporting by PM NEWS and NAN)
President Goodluck Jonathan has called on those responsible for the nation’s internal security challenge to desist and embrace government’s move to ensure peace and progress of Nigeria.
This is just as the president said his government is not relenting in its efforts to bring lasting peace to Nigeria for the country to march forward in its quest for development.
Jonathan stated this in Kaduna yesterday in his speech to the combined Passing Out Parade (POP) of the 59th Regular Course Cadets and Short Service Course 40 of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA)
According to the President who was represented by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo,“We are not relenting in our commitment to creating a peaceful environment, conducive and equalitative to the aspirations of Nigerians.
“Those who are bent on causing disaffection among the good people of our country under whatever guise must desist from such retrogressive ventures and embrace our shared aspirations for peace and progress. “Building a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria of our collective dream is a task to which we must all remain committed,” Jonathan stressed.
He then charged the passing out cadets to strive to contribute their quota to the nation’s defence needs of the vision 20:2020 as they are being commissioned into the various services of Nigerian Armed Forces, saying, they are coming at the time the nation needs them most.
In his words, “Your career is starting at the time of positive transformation in our country and the Nigerian Armed Forces as well. The nation needsyou at this time, as you all have important roles to play in our forward march to a greater Nigeria. I urge you all to take these roles very seriously, in order to contribute effectively to the defence target in our vision 20:2020 document.
“I believe that the qualitative training you received here has prepared you to face the challenges ahead and to make invaluable contributions to your country through the various services into which you will be commissioned.
“Ladies and gentlemen, security remains a great component of this government’s transformation agenda. Our security objectives however cannot be realized without a credible and effective military. As young officers, full of hopes and zeal to build world class career, your contributions would be invaluable to our efforts to reinvigorate the lower segment of the leadership of the Armed Forces.
“The Nigerian Armed Forces have a world class reputation for excellence and loyal service. The challenge you face from today is how to live up to these invaluable reputations.”
After congratulating the cadets, the president reminded them that not all who started the course with them were able to withstand the rigorous training which they gallantly went through, therefore, they have every reason to feel proud, celebrate and thereafter bring their training to bear on the various areas of duties.
Jonathan further urged them to strictly adhere to the rule of law and the constitution, by defending the nation’s territorial borders and assisting other sister security agencies in ensuring law and order in the country.He commended the military for their efforts in ensuring internal security, through collaboration with other security agencies, and urged them not to relent in contributing to regional peacekeeping missions.
188 cadets of the 59th Regular Course passed out with first degrees in various disciplines, while 577 were conferred with postgraduate degrees during the convocation ceremony.
Meanwhile, the NDA said it had so far graduated 3,686 Regular Combatant Cadets since the commencement of the award of first degree in 1985.
A brief history of the degree programme presented at the graduation showed that the institution currently runs 16 degree programmes in the Departments of Economics and Management Science, Geography, History, International Studies, Languages, Political Science and Defence Studies, among others.
From inception of the degree programme to date,a total of 3,686 Regular Combatant Cadets have received NDA degrees in various fields, out of which, 38 made first class honours. A summary of the first degrees conferred on the cadets of the 59 regular course indicates that there are 39 second class upper division, 109 second class lower division and 40 third class.
The President presented medals to the best Army,Air Force, Navy cadets and Short Service Course, aswell as the Best Foreign Cadets, after a review of the military parade organised in his honour.
Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State, the Minister of State for Defence, Mrs Olushola Obada,Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Olusheyin Petinrin, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Muhammed Umar, accompanied the President.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NDA honoured Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth; Liberia’s President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; and the President of the Senate, David Mark, during the convocation.
NAN further reports a total of 262 Cadets of the NDA 59th Regular Course comprising cadets from the Army, Navy, Air Force, 40th Short Service Combatant Course and two cadets each from Liberia and Togo, graduated.