President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday presides over the Passing Out Parade and Commissioning in honour of 63 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna.
At the colourful ceremonies, President Buhari, presented Sword of Honour to the Best All round Cadet Officer.
The President a retired General, was presented Bush Walking Stick by NDA Commandant Maj. Gen. MT Ibrahim.
He had earlier warned that decisive military action was still an option to deal with militancy in Niger Delta if militants continued with sabotage.
Buhari, who expressed happiness that the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East was being defeated, however, noted that militancy and other forms of emerging threats, including kidnapping and cattle rustling, were negatively impacting the nation’s economy.
He said the clean-up of the Ogoniland was one of the ways to deal with root causes of militancy in the region.
“However, for avoidance of doubt, let me state that other options are still open, including decisive military action.
“Today, criminal elements disguise in ethnic regalia to sabotage the country, largely for their selfish and parochial interests.
“I reiterate the call on all Nigerians to give peace a chance and jettison negative tendencies and join government’s efforts aimed at addressing the numerous challenges in the task of building a better Nigeria”, Buhari said.
The president, however, added that his administration would prioritise constructive engagement of relevant stakeholders in dialogue to address issues.
On insurgency in the North East, the president said although his administration “inherited a badly managed Boko Haram”, the capacity of the insurgents to launch attack had been “significantly curtailed.”
He also said that their capacity to take territories had been knocked out, adding that ongoing operations were to clear remnants of the terrorists from their hideouts.
The president charged the newly commissioned officers to remain apolitical, patriotic and loyal to the nation at all times.
He reminded them that they no longer belong to themselves, their parents, families, tribes and villages but the nation and be ready to pay the supreme sacrifice if the need arises.
The Minister of Defence, retired Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, seized the advantage of the programme to inaugurate the renovated and upgraded Wards 1 and 2 of the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna.
Dan-Ali, commended the visionary Chief of Army (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, for initiating the project.
He said that the renovated hospital, which he described as a cardinal project, was in line with the vision of the present administration to enhance welfare of military personnel.
The minister noted that the hospital would reduce the evacuation of wounded personnel, especially troops involved in the fight against insurgency to overseas for treatment and thus save the nation some foreign exchange.
He said that similar hospital would soon be inaugurated in Bauchi and Eastern Naval Command.
Earlier, Buratai said that fund had been received to complete the Radiological Centre of the hospital.
He promised that everything would be done to restore the lost glory of army hospitals across the country which in the past used to be the best in terms of facilities and service delivery, owing to military discipline.
The COAS assured wounded troops that they would be given best of treatment and commended them for the sacrifices they were making for the nation.