President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that he would leave Nigeria a safer country by the time he leaves office.
He gave the assurance during the Emblem Appeal Launch for the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, he expressed confidence that with the gallantry and sacrifices exhibited by men and women of the Armed Forces in the campaign against insurgency and other internal security operations, the nation will be returned to normalcy as his administration continues to battle decisively, all the security challenges.
“I would like to reiterate, my earlier resolve to hand over a Nigeria at the end of my tenure, that is free from insecurity to the next generation of leaders. And with the gallantry and sacrifices exhibited by men and women of our armed forces in the campaign against insurgency, and other security operations. I’m confident the nation will return to normalcy and we will continue to battle decisively all the security challenges.”
President Buhari also announced the approval of N134.7 billion for the payment of Security Debarment Allowance (SDA) to all veterans.
He also announced the donation of N10 million to the Nigerian Legion, on behalf of the Federal Government, at the launch, urging all Nigerians and corporate organizations to join in and support the nation’s veterans and the families of the dead heroes, whose earlier sacrifices had kept the country united.
Buhari pledged his administration’s commitment to the welfare of veterans by ensuring prompt payment of their pension and other entitlements, which had been demonstrated by his approval of the payment of SDA to veterans with effect from 2017.
“However, in order to capture all veterans hitherto excluded from the payment of the SDA, I have approved a review of the effective date of the Manual of Financial Administration for the Armed Forces of Nigeria (MAFA) 2017. Accordingly, I have also approved the sum of N134,749,953,243.69 only for that purpose,” he said.
In addition, Buhari expressed his satisfaction that the Defence Health Maintenance Limited is providing the veterans with quality healthcare services, highlighting the growth of their service area through the opening of Zonal and State offices.
He said that the government would continue to place a high priority on offering veterans and the general public access to high-quality healthcare services.
He also made use of the occasion to applaud the efforts made by the Nigerian Armed Forces to directly address banditry, kidnappings, molestation, and the murder of innocent people, declaring that these “vices alien to our culture” are on the decline.
The president also stated that the methodical approach and expanding military campaign to eliminate subversive elements involved in destructive activities such as “the insurgency in North East, militancy in the Niger Delta,” as well as ethnic and religious tensions in some communities, is causing a gradual return of normalcy to some affected areas of the nation.
In order to help the country’s security agencies overcome its issues, Buhari assured Nigerians that his administration will continue to reposition and reinforce the security organizations.