President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Monday in Abuja urged West African Defence Chiefs to ensure that peace and security are sustained in the sub-region. The President who made the appeal during a courtesy visit to State House by Chiefs of Defence Staff in West Africa who are in Abuja for their 30th Ordinary Meeting, stressed that the strength of any nation depends on the might of its military and “security is very vital to the integrity of nations.”
President Jonathan while commending the defence chiefs for their role in ensuring the current relative stability in the sub-region enjoined them not to relent.
“Though there are challenges in some areas, the stability of countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-region is commendable. We have progressed significantly compared with what we had 20 years ago,” the President said, adding that “we have to continue to ensure peace, security and stability.”
President Jonathan who noted that the whole sub-region has embraced democratic governance, expressed appreciation to the military chiefs for joining hands with civilian authorities to address the challenges in a few countries in West Africa such as Mali and Guinea Bissau. He implored the defence chiefs to talk to their colleagues in these countries “to embrace democratic governance.”
The President expressed optimism that with the support and cooperation of the defence chiefs, “we would collectively resolve the issues in Guinea Bissau and Mali.”
The President pledged the continued support of the Nigerian Government to enable the military leaders to succeed, hoping that at the end of their meeting, they would have come up with resolutions that would further guarantee peace and stability in the West African sub-region.
Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Bello Haliru Mohammed led the delegation of Defence Chiefs on the courtesy visit to President Jonathan with Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin accompanying his colleagues.
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