President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday charged newly commissioned Nigerian Air Force (NAF) officers of Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC) Course 29/2020 to positively deploy the knowledge they acquired during their training to defend the territorial integrity and national interests of Nigeria.
President Buhari reminded the officers during the Passing Out Parade (POP) of 114 DSSC officer cadets held at the NAF Base, Kaduna, that the occasion was just the beginning of yet another challenging but rewarding career as young officers in the NAF as they were part of the human capacity building initiatives to meet the nation’s security challenges.
The officer cadets, comprising of two medical consultants, 14 medical and veterinary doctors, 20 nurses and 78 other medical specialists, passed out after six months of rigorous and intensive military training at the NAF’s Military Training Centre (MTC).
While congratulating the newly commissioned officers for withstanding the rigours of the training, President Buhari, represented by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, further reminded them that the military profession requires absolute discipline, loyalty and hard work, among other virtues.
He noted that these virtues were even more critical at this crucial point when the Nation is battling with the challenges of insecurity and the NAF, along with sister Services, is expected to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians to peacefully pursue their individual legitimate aspirations.
“Such noble service demands exceptional courage, commitment and patriotism and Nigeria will continue to demand such qualities from you”, he added.
Speaking further, the President emphasized that the Government was doing so much to confront the security challenges bedeviling the nation by taking necessary measures to safeguard lives and properties and to drastically cut off all forms of criminality.
“I gladly inform you and indeed all Nigerians that the NAF is consistently supporting these Government efforts. Therefore, as you graduate, I urge you all to positively deploy the training that has been inculcated in you to defend the territorial integrity and national interest of our dear country”, he reiterated.
President Buhari also urged the young officers to do their best to further enhance the NAF’s efforts towards boosting qualitative healthcare for personnel, their dependants and members of NAF’s host communities, including sustaining medical outreaches for civilians and victims of insurgency and banditry.
“This pragmatic approach to promote civil military relations will go a long way in winning the hearts and minds of the communities, thus assisting in timely containment of insurgency, banditry and other security challenges”, he said.
The newly commissioned officers were further reminded of the need to subject themselves to both military and civil laws and protect the Nation’s growing democracy.
While urging them to be vigilant and guard their utterances and conduct at all times, the SGOH also reminded them of the need to know the limits of their freedom of association and expression which must be matched with responsibility to maintain national security.
“You must also not allow yourself to be used by some elements in the society to compromise national security or act in ways capable of denting the image of the Armed Forces. Your duty is to protect all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic background or religious inclination. Your loyalty must therefore never be in doubt at any point in time as an officer”, he added.