The Minister of Defence, Alhaji Muhammed Badaru, and his State counterpart, Dr Bello Matawalle on Tuesday assumed office at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
Badaru in his remarks shortly after officially taking over from Dr Ibrahim Kana, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, pledged to review past reports on insecurity in the country.
He said this was with a view to tackling the hydra-headed challenge and make Nigeria safe for all.
The minister said they would not betray the trust of President Bola Tinubu, and therefore charged the service chiefs to give him a timeline and requirements to solve the issue of insecurity in the country.
“This timeline and target will be passed on to the President, and trust he will be monitoring us. The president is ready to give us all the needed support to achieve success, because he is an achiever and doesn’t have the patience for failure.
“For the sake of our country, we know that without security, there will be no investment, and without investment, there will be no economic growth.”
The minister assured that his tenure would bring about remarkable change in the country’s security situation, and pledged not to joke with the appointment.
Similarly, Matawalle in his remarks said that the Armed Forces have demonstrated exceptional commitment over time, in spite of the constantly evolving security landscape.
“New threats emerge while existing ones continue to persist. Terrorism, banditry, insurgency, cyber warfare, transnational organised crime, and communal conflicts pose significant challenges to our national security.
“The task ahead is not an easy one. However, I am confident that with the support of my colleagues, the dedication of our armed forces, and the unwavering commitment of every Nigerian citizen, we will overcome any challenge that comes our way.”
Matawalle noted that Nigeria was blessed with abundant resources, diverse cultures, and a resilient population.
“However, it is a nation that faces numerous challenges in maintaining peace and stability within its borders. Our geographical location, coupled with internal and external threats, demands a robust defence strategy that can effectively protect our sovereignty and preserve our national interest,” he said.
He said that the ministry would spare no effort in ensuring the security and wellbeing of every Nigerian.
“We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to build a strong defence apparatus that can effectively counter emerging threats.”
He however said that defending the nation rest on the shoulders of all, not just the defence forces or government.
“It is a collective responsibility that requires the active participation of every citizen,” Matawalle said.
The minister of state further said that he and his senior colleague had resolved to adopt a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to effectively tackle the prevailing security issues in the country.
According to him, the armed forces would be modernised and strengthened through investment in advance weaponry, intelligence gathering capabilities, surveillance system and cyber defence infrastructure.
“We will work with international partners to acquire cutting-edge technology and expertise that will enhance our defence capabilities.
“At the same time, we recognise that military might alone cannot guarantee lasting security and stability. We must address the root causes of conflicts, promote social cohesion and foster economic development.”
He further said that while the government takes the lead in addressing security challenges, the importance of engaging with all stakeholders could not be over-emphasised.
He also said that regional cooperation was essential in combating transnational threats.
“Nigeria will continue to strengthen its partnership with neighbouring countries and regional organisations like ECOWAS and the AU by sharing intelligence, coordinating operations and conducting joint exercises,” he said.
He added that the ministry would prioritise the welfare and training of security personnel, and ensuring that they were well equipped with the necessary tools and resources to effectively carry out their responsibilities.