‘Tighten your grip on Nation’s Enemies’ – Sanwo-Olu raises spirits of the Armed Forces 

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has called on members of the armed forces to keep their focus on the restoration of peace and stability across troubled areas of the country.

The Governor said the economic recovery efforts of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu rested on the premise of law and order, noting that the seed of the President’s economic vision would germinate quicker if the military tightened its grip over those attempting to undermine the nation’s security.

Sanwo-Olu spoke while receiving the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, in a courtesy call on Monday at the State House in Marina, Lagos.

The service chief was accompanied by top Defence officers, including the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division of the Army, Major-Gen. Mohammed Usman, Flag Officer Commanding of Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan, and Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command, AVM A.Y. Abdullahi, among others.

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The Lagos helmsman said the nation, in the last 12 months, had witnessed a sharp decline in criminal attacks in areas burdened by instability, including the Southeast and North Central, hailed the servicemen for upholding their duty to protect the law-abiding citizens living in the crisis-ridden regions.

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Sanwo-Olu, however, urged the military to brace up and reinforce its strength to restore stability in areas still burdened by banditry, noting that there were still pockets of violence being recorded in the Northeast.

He said: “The vision of the President to advance economic development and prosperity can only be achieved in an atmosphere of stability and peace. We have observed how you have provided level-headed leadership to the Defence personnel, while working collaboratively with your fellow service chiefs. This is specially commendable, as the nation is now seeing the results of the collaboration among our defence forces.

“In the last 12 months, we have seen a consistent decline in what we used to see as regular criminal attacks in some parts of the country. In the Southeast, we have seen the military successes, as violence has gone down significantly. We have witnessed similar successes in the North Central but we still have pockets of violence in the Northeast, which I believe is within control. The military needs to tighten up and keep focus on restoring order to quickly accelerate progress in line with the President’s vision.”

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Sanwo-Olu passed a vote of confidence on the service chiefs, noting that the State Government had maintained a good working relationship with the military formation in Lagos.

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He said members of the armed forces serving in Lagos usually displayed high level of professionalism whenever they were required to assist the police in combat operations against criminals. The synergy, the Governor said, had improved safety in Lagos, making the State peaceful for investment to thrive.

Sanwo-Olu re-emphasised the need for the Defence Headquarters to support its officers towards maintaining good mental health, not only during their period of service, but also in retirement. He urged the Defence chief to bequeath a legacy centred around building strong welfare for officers.

He said: “Governance is a tool for development that is centred on people’s interest. This vision should sit firmly with your agenda for the military. I’ll implore you to pursue your vision for the Defence and build a legacy that would create armed forces which would be people-centric.

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“While pursing the welfare of your officers, you must also build confidence among the citizens by addressing the basic issues that our people want. These include security of lives and property, which is the paramount reason why the Government is in place.”

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Gen. Musa said the courtesy visit was to convey the appreciation of members of the armed forces for the financial and hardware support the Governor had provided to enable military formations carry out their statutory duties in Lagos.

The service chief said the level of support and cooperation from the State Government had continued to strengthen the morale of soldiers, while raising the confidence of the Defence formations in Lagos to respond quickly to threats.

The CDS pledged the military’s loyalty to the constitution and to the President, while also promising to protect human rights of the citizens.

Gen. Musa said President Tinubu’s leadership in fostering good working relationships among Defence units led to the successful military operations in troubled regions, saying: “the collaboration among the military forces wouldn’t have yielded much without the President’s strong leadership.”

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