The Minister of State for Defence, Augustine Akobundu, a retired colonel, on Thursday in Abuja pledged to do his best to ensure that success recorded by the military against insurgents is sustained.
Mr. Akobundu made the pledge while assuming office at the Ministry of Defence.
He promised to add value to positive things happening in the ministry and support the leadership of the ministry to build on successes, especially in the area of security.
“We are all expected to do our best and I want to congratulate you all for your efforts in making sure that the President’s efforts in getting the entire north east cleared of insurgents are achieved”, he said. “Let me state clearly that we have professional armed forces, though initially they were faced with some challenges we are happy that they have made tremendous progress in recent times”.
The minister said the war against insurgency required holistic approach and careful planning.
“So, I give credit to the President who took a diagnostic and holistic approach to know what the issues were; what the deficiencies were and what the solutions will be”, he said. “And as you can see the operations are gaining momentum because they have the necessary training and armament to deal with that and the morale of the troops is very high. We have very competent Service Chiefs who are driving the operations. There is determination and political will to make sure that the country is cleared of the menace”.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ismaila Aliyu, while welcoming Mr. Akobundu, said the ministry was happy to have one of them back.
“One thing I can assure you is that the time you will spend in this ministry you will get the best from us in terms of the quality of work, sincerity and punctuality,” he said. “We believe in result in this ministry because the ministry is very peculiar amongst all ministries and we believe in the achievement of set targets”.
Mr. Akobundu enlisted into the Nigerian Defence Academy as a member of Course 22 and was commissioned into the Nigerian Army Signal Corp. He held different command and staff appointments and was also an Aide De Camp to former governor of Bauchi State, Chris Garuba.
He retired in 2000. (NAN)