Minna — Former Military President General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida yesterday urged the military to evolve a new strategy to confront the terrorists.
Babangida, in his message on the 2019 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, said the military was currently faced with "horrific challenges" in the crucial counter-insurgency war and activities of other blood-thirsty armed groups.
"Every year, our valiant Armed Forces majestically roll out their drums to honour our slain fallen heroes, with streams of organised fascinating events coming to a climax on 15th January.
"As we prepare to celebrate this year's Remembrance Day, we should not be oblivious of the fact that our military is presently faced with horrific challenges in the crucial counter-insurgency war, and activities of other blood-thirsty armed groups.
"Hence, it is high time we seek to consolidate our gains and also fortify our combat strength. This is necessary as our Army is undeniably a professional military establishment that has over the years achieved remarkable successes in protecting our nation's territorial integrity.
"Indeed, it is pertinent for the top echelons of our military to speedily evolve new combat strategy to bravely confront the callous terrorists who have continued to hold many parts of the North East, and in extension, Nigeria in ransom," he said.
He urged the military to remain apolitical in the 2019 general elections.
"In recent times, elections have tested our unity as a people, while also posing threats to our socio-cultural diversity and challenging our common destiny. Nevertheless, I have a strong conviction that our Armed Forces will remain apolitical prior, during, and after the general elections, while focusing only on discharging their constitutional responsibility of safeguarding the country either from the aggression of internal rebels in the guise of Boko Haram insurgents or from external retrogressive forces," he stated.
Babangida paid special tribute to some gallant troops incapacitated while at the theatre of war in the restive parts of the country and saluted "the uncommon bravery of our lion-hearted fallen heroes who paid the supreme price in their quest to defend our fatherland".
He commended the Armed Forces for their resilience over the years in maintaining peace in Nigeria, the United Nations Missions, African Union and regional interventions.