While receiving the flag, President Buhari challenged the army forces on the need to continue to ensure the survival of Nigeria as a geo-political entity despite what he described as “political madness’’ being exhibited in some parts of the country.According to him, it is duty bound for the army to ensure the sustenance of peaceful co-existence among the over 250 ethnic groups across the country.“We will do our best to build the national institutions in the country.“All these political madness in the North East, the Niger Delta or in the East should not be allowed to cause division or any form of tension in the country.
“There are 250 ethnic groups, so keeping Nigeria one is a task that must be done, even for your personal reason you must make sure this country remains united and stronger,’’ he said.
President Buhari, who narrated his early military life in Abeokuta and subsequent redeployment to Zaire (now Congo), said he was almost killed while on duty even before enjoying his first salary as an officer.
The president, therefore, stated that he was conversant with the problems of the military having spent over 25 years in the military.
He recalled how his refusal to adhere to an advice from the IMF, World Bank to devalue the naira and increase prices of fuel and flour, as a military Head of State, led to his removal.
“I refused and gave my reasons and the next thing I knew I was removed and detained for three and half years.
“As a civilian president I will do my best and I’m telling you all these because you are part of the leadership of this great country and God willing we will remain great.”