Nigerian Army’s Morale Low When I Assumed Office in 2015 – Buhari
By Kabir Abdulsalam
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the Nigeria Army’s fighting power has increased significantly under his administration.
Buhari said this has made the Armed Forces of Nigeria rise to fourth in ranking among African militaries as against seventh in 2015.
The President disclosed this after a review of retired national and regimental colours at the Nigerian Army Trooping and Presentation of Colours Parade 2023 in Abuja.
The parade was marched off the drill square, marking the end of service to their respective units and the nation, for the beginning of new colours.
Buhari who was fully dressed in military uniform, said the fighting power of the nation’s army was at low ebb as of May 2015, this has tremendously improved with remarkable progress in the fight against insurgents, militants, oil bunkers, kidnappers, and other criminal elements in the country.
According to him, this administration has achieved a remarkable transformation of the military in the areas of fighting power, training, operations, manpower, remunerations, and medical services.
“These are in addition to maintenance, efficiency, accommodation, and expansion of forces. The improvements in these areas have collectively enhanced the army’s capacity to effectively carry out its constitutional mandate.
“Our interventions and budgetary allocation to the army between 2020 and 2022 alone has been able to procure hundreds of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, troops carrying vehicles, utility vehicles, tanks, and armored personnel carriers to augment those earlier procured from 2017 to 2022.
“Significant numbers of new fighting and the utility vehicles, along with artillery guns, machine guns, rifles and correspondent ammunition were acquired and inducted into various theaters of operations.
“This will lead to a significant increment in the animal equipment holding since 2015 with a significant improvement in the fighting power due to the procurement of equipment and mission-specific training,” he said.
Buhari said Army had restructured its operations to meet current realities, saying the quantum of platforms induced into the army since 2015 had enabled troops to take the battle to the terrorists and criminals, particularly in the northeast.
He said this had resulted in the recapture of territories hitherto held by the insurgents, adding that the efforts of the troops leading to unprecedented successes was evident in the increased number of neutralised insurgents and those that voluntarily surrendered alongside their families.
The president said the successes had led to the resettlement of internally displaced persons to their ancestral homes and the restoration of economic activities, in addition to the contribution of the army to global peace support operations.
He said the creation of army aviation was one of the aspects of the ongoing expansion process in the Nigerian army, saying the renewed vigor for authorisation of the aviation unit emanated from a strong desire to effectively tackle contemporary security challenges across the country.