Nigeria: 2023 Poll – Be Professional, Apolitical, Buhari Warns Security Agencies

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged security agencies to be saddled with various support services in next year’s general election to maintain a high sense of professionalism and remain impartial in the discharge of their duties. Buhari said this yesterday in Abuja at the inauguration of a newly acquired estate by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Idu-Karmo, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In another development, the president declared that as a public officer he was a very difficult to satisfy. He spoke yesterday at State House, Abuja, shortly after decorating the newly promoted Commander of the Brigade of Guards, Major-General Mohammed Usman

Speaking during the DIA estate inauguration, Buhari urged the security agencies to handle the distribution and monitoring of classified materials and other logistics “professionally and in accordance with Standing Operation Procedures”.

Emphasising his earlier directive to security agencies to remain apolitical, Buhari said they must desist from behaviour that could bring their organisations and the country to disrepute “by compromising the democratic process”.

On the newly acquired DIA estate, the president said the befitting accommodation would enhance productivity and coordination of activities of staff of the agency in view of the increasing number of personnel.

According to him, “The significance of today’s occasion can be better understood by making the connection between shelter and productivity. This underpins the administration’s vision for provision of shelter to improve performance as well as comfort for workers, families and communities.

“This commissioning ceremony further avails another opportunity to reaffirm my confidence in the competence, commitment and achievements of the Defence Intelligence Agency’s giant strides achieved across the nation.

“I am confident that these new premises will yield enormous shelter dividends to the Defence Intelligence Agency staff, their families and to the host locality.

“The acquisition of this accommodation is a great leap forward, but the envisaged benefits would be aborted without diligent maintenance.”

Buhari charged the new occupants to ensure proper maintenance of the facility. He acknowledged the efforts of the agency towards meeting his administration’s housing policy involving provision of housing to all Nigerians.

Buhari said, “The agency’s investment in staff accommodation complements our vision of achieving improved national security.”

He commended the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI), Major-General Samuel Adebayo, for the achievement.

Earlier in his remarks, the CDI thanked the president for inaugurating the new estate, noting that the project will always be remembered by the DIA community as the president’s legacy.

According to Adebayo, the newly inaugurated staff quarters contain 16 units of 3-bedroom terrace buildings with boys’ quarters and 48 units of 3-bedroom flats all in suite.

He added that one of the blocks of six units of flats and two units of terrace buildings had been furnished as proto-types while the rest would be furnished during the course of the 2023 budget implementation cycle.

Noting that officers, men and staff of the agency were deeply happy to have the estate as staff residential accommodation, the CDI said the feat would surely reduce accommodation challenges for staff members in the FCT.

Adebayo expressed appreciation to the president for approving their requests for technical intelligence and advanced technological acquisitions. He announced that most of the newly procured technical equipment had been deployed and were helping to address the security challenges across the country.

Adebayo stated, “Few others are at different stages of acquisition and installation. These equipment have contributed immensely to degrading the capabilities of the threat groups in the North-east, North-west, North-central, and South-east geopolitical zones.

“We intend to intensify efforts to achieve Mr President’s promise of a more secure Nigeria before the end of this administration.”

Meanwhile, Buhari declared that he was a very difficult person to satisfy as a public officer.

Speaking after decorating the newly promoted Commander of the Brigade of Guards, the president SAID, “Those who work with me know I am very difficult to satisfy.

“But I have never had any reason, whatsoever, to report you to the Chief of Army Staff or the Minister of Defence.

“Nobody has been able to touch me while you are here, I’m absolutely satisfied with your performance.”

The president said he would give the directive on Usman’s next assignment, considering that he, too, was about to leave, and as he had often said, “I will live far away from Abuja.”

Buhari praised the newly promoted commander as an outstanding officer who served the country with great zeal.

Assisted by Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Faruk Yahaya, and the wife of the Commander, Rekiya Usman, the president decorated the officer with the rank of Major-General.

The president recalled his tumultuous military career marked by coups, counter-coups, and detention, describing Usman as a very lucky officer to have risen to the height of his military career with distinction and without hiccups.

He commended Usman for his diligence, loyalty, patience and hard work.

“You are very lucky to have the health and ability to carry out your assignments,” Buhari told the newly promoted officer.

He commended the family of the military officer for their patience in putting up with the challenging assignment he carried out.

Earlier in his remarks, Usman thanked the president for his outstanding support to the Brigade of Guards, citing the approval for the procurement of 400 armoured vehicles, which he said were enough to secure his area of responsibility, including the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa State, and parts of Niger State.

He thanked the president for the promotion, saying it would spur him to do even better in his assigned responsibilities.


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