I Inherited A Country At Crossroads With Bombs Going Off In Cities – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari at the passing-out parade of NDA cadets in Kaduna State.


President Muhammadu Buhari says he inherited a country at crossroads with bombs detonating in cities across Nigeria when he assumed office in May 2015.

He, however, said his government has been able to manage Nigeria’s security crisis in the last seven years.

“When this government came in 2015, we inherited a country at crossroads with bombs going off with frightening frequency even in our cities and we came in to manage the crisis,” Buhari said on Thursday in Afaka, Kaduna State at the passing-out parade and commissioning ceremony of cadets of Regular Course 69 of the Nigerian Defence Academy.

A total of 239 cadets including those from sister African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger Republic, Chad, and Uganda are passing out from the Academy as junior military officers.

The President charged the cadets to replicate the spirit of social cohesion they learned at the NDA and be incorruptible models to the society, noting that they emerged in the era of expanding global security threats.

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The President again pledged that his administration will fulfill its promise to neutralise Boko Haram terrorism in the North-East.

He acknowledged that the security challenges in the country have evolved and assumed other dimensions in some areas, noting that his government has been deploying both military and non-military methods including amnesty for repentant terrorists to arrest the situation.


‘Bravo to our soldiers!’


The President used the occasion to salute the military for the release of the 23 remaining kidnapped victims of a Kaduna-Abuja train that was attacked on March 28, 2022.

“Let me also commend our military for both kinetic and non-kinetic methods they adopt in tackling some of our security challenges.

“Just yesterday (Wednesday), relief came for our country as the remaining 23 victims of the March 28 Abuja-Kaduna train attack were released by the heinous terrorists. This feat was not achieved without the intervention of our military,” Buhari said.

“I say bravo to our soldiers, officers and gentlemen,” he saluted military operatives.

Among the dignitaries present at the NDA parade include all the service chiefs and the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali; Senate President Ahmed Lawan; the governors of Niger and Kaduna states, as well as National Assembly members.

Kaduna has witnessed some of the unprecedented terrorist attacks in the country of recent. In August 2021, daring bandits attacked NDA permanent in the state, killed two officers and kidnapped one other.

Read the President’s full speech:



Let me begin by thanking the Commandant, staff, instructors, and gentlemen officer cadets for an outstanding parade this morning. Congratulations to you all and well done.

2. I came here today bearing the burden of a nation that counts on your valour, and to celebrate your willingness to offer yourself to serve your beloved country.

3. This honour to serve as the Reviewing Officer of the Passing Out Parade of 69 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy would be my last as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

4. What sets this Academy apart is not just the primacy of discipline, but its first class training curricula designed to transform young cadets into professionals with extraordinary skill-set and knowledge to prevent, confront and neutralise the contemporary and emerging threats facing our country and West African sub-region.

5. I am aware that you are perhaps the most highly-trained course since the establishment of this Academy in 1964, having completed our most methodical corporeal and academic training in line with the new capacity-building philosophy of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

6. You emerge in an era of expanding global security threats, and in the past seven years, we have set aside high-tech platforms and prioritised your needs to facilitate your training and commissioning.

7. When this Government came in 2015, we inherited a country at crossroads, with bombs going off with frightening frequency even in our cities, and we came in to confront and manage the crisis.

8. This administration has since coming on board procured of over 550 naval platforms, out of which 319 have been delivered, as a part of the aggressive fleet recapitalisation of the Nigerian Navy. We have also increased the number of Nigerian Air Force platforms by more than 38% and enhanced the serviceability rate of aircraft in the NAF inventory by over 70%.

9. In pursuing this same objective, the Nigerian Army has received by more than 2000 units of various Armoured Fighting Vehicles, guns, and equipment. These are in addition to improved funding of the three Services along with other security and intelligence agencies. These comprehensive and systematic acquisitions within 7 years are not only unprecedented in the past 38 years, but they also align with our pledge to safeguard and strengthen the security architecture of our country.

10. Although this is not a forum to introduce you to the military hardware you are stepping out to inherit, it is imperative to identify the magnitude and complexities of conflicts surrounding us. While acknowledging that our measures have yielded results and we remain ever grateful for the sacrifices of members of the Armed Forces, we must brace up for the dimensions this conflict has taken.

11. In our bid to fulfil our promise to neutralise Boko Haram terrorism in the North East, which had spread to other neighbouring countries when we took over, the Armed Forces liberated areas occupied by the terrorists and gave the residents a new lease of life, and our commitment to resettling and rehabilitating the victims of the tragedy has been unwavering.

12. I want to seize this opportunity to appeal to Nigerians that, although we have recorded successes in the conflict inherited, especially in the North-East, the security challenges in the country have evolved and assumed other dimensions in some areas. We have devised both military and non-military methods to intervene, and even rolled out an amnesty programme to rehabilitate repentant terrorists who surrendered and laid down their arms unconditionally.

13. Our tasks as the guardians of the nation are to prepare for the evolving and complex security situations and make sure that no terrorists can threaten Nigeria’s sovereign integrity.

14. In this regard, I have instructed the Service Chiefs to replicate the successes in the North East in other parts of the country, and I call on all Nigerians to continue to support our Armed Forces and security agencies.

15. This administration has invested heavily in infrastructure, with our rail, roads, seaports, airports, and power sector revitalised through strategic rehabilitation and reconstruction.

16. The same template has been applied in tackling the challenges in the housing, water resources, and health sectors, and, unsurprisingly, the first targets of attacks by the terrorists are our thriving infrastructure, which was intended to make life easier for Nigerians such as roads, railways and power installations.

17. The necessity to protect these key national infrastructure from being vandalized and stay ahead of the enemies of the state, inspires our resolve to utilize Executive Orders to promote good governance.

18. Furthermore, we have been allocating vast resources to support millions of farmers, traders and entrepreneurs through interventions like the Anchor Borrowers Programme, the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, and Special-Agro Industrial Processing Zones. These have made our National Social Investment Programme the largest of such programmes in Africa.

19. The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, which we established in 2016 to drive cross-sectoral reforms to eliminate critical bottlenecks and bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria, and that the country moved 39 places up the World Bank ease of Doing Business ranking from 170 to 131 under our watch is a testimony to these interventions and reforms.

20. You must remember that the goal of the terrorists and insurgents is to destroy our reforms; yours is to safeguard the economic and military capability of the nation. Our interventions, and even where we dealt with saboteurs, were designed to prevent the collapse of the economy and revitalise the Armed Forces, and this is the legacy we are handing over to the next administration.

21. This is an important point we must acknowledge, especially as the election year draws closer. I am utterly committed to ensuring that the forthcoming elections are peaceful and transparent, and it is our collective responsibility to continue to work towards building a united and prosperous country.

22. Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, permit me now to turn my attention to our graduating cadets, the heroes keenly awaited by the entire nation. Gentlemen cadets, I congratulate you once again on this most memorable day of your life.

23. Your journey and career as officers in the Armed Forces of Nigeria begins today. There is no better time to prove your valour and demonstrate the virtues upon which this Academy was founded in the defence of your fatherland, and I trust you to do so with uncompromising dignity and honour.

24. Your convergence here symbolises our national unity, for you were all admitted into the Academy from the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT to co-exist and master the arts and science of building and defending your fatherland.

25. You are required to replicate the social cohesion you experienced during your time at the Academy and be the unifying and incorruptible models of those you were trained to protect and bound by esprit de corps and love for your fatherland.

26. I would like to felicitate with the families and friends of the cadets passing out today. Without your support, it would have been more difficult for these cadets to compete fairly in adjusting to the dictates of this institution.

27. May I request you to continue to support them throughout their careers. As men and women who may frequently be away from their families, sometimes for a long time, they need your prayers, love, and emotional support to encourage them to do their best in the service of the nation.

28. I now want to once again commend and congratulate the Commandant, staff, and instructors of the Academy for an excellent parade and, more importantly, for the recent overhaul of training curricula and methodologies in line with the dynamics of the contemporary operational requirements.

29. Congratulations to the graduating cadets, and congratulations to the Nigerian Defence Academy.

Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.