The immediate past Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, has said that he left the Nigeria Armed Forces bigger, stronger and more capable to deliver on its constitutional mandate.

Irabor stated this in his valedictory speech during the pulling out parade organised in his honour on Friday in Abuja.

The former CDS said that he felt honoured to be pulled out after 37 years of unblemished service to the nation and having served as the CDS in the past 29 months.

According to him, ensuring national security in a large and diverse country like Nigeria is not an easy task.

“In 2021, the security situation of the nation was admittedly in a state of dynamic flux.

“Efforts made by the Federal Government of Nigeria using the armed forces in collaboration with the police, other security agencies and critical stakeholders were in different stages of gestation.

“We were encouraged to pursue these measures in addition to other initiatives to reinvigorate the national security architecture to deliver critical national security functions.

“I make bold to say that I’m leaving the armed forces of Nigeria today, bigger, stronger and more capable to deliver on its constitutional mandate and national security functions,” he said.

Irabor acknowledged the outstanding efforts of the nation’s courageous men and women in uniform and hailed them for their bravery, unwavering commitment and dedication to service.

According to him, their services and courage in the line of duty were unparalleled.

He pointed out that the services had singly and collectively expanded strategic capacities, operational reach and tactical competencies.

Irabor added that the services were able to achieve the feat with great impetus and support from the Federal Government, strategic partners, state governments and non governmental organisations.

According to him, the support came in the form of gross expansion of military strength, platforms acquisition, expansion of equipment holdings, provisions of funding, materials and logistics.

The former CDS stressed that the support and inputs from the government and strategic partners helped the military under his command to significantly curtail the threats of terrorism, insurgency, piracy, sea robberies, vandalism of critical national assets and kidnappings.

“We successfully worked in conjunction with other security agencies and stakeholders to deliver a physical security environment that is amenable for law and order, critical democratic processes as well as human security and national development.

“I am very proud of the patrol dizzying dedication, hard work and sacrifices of the upstyle men and women of the armed forces propelled by love for country.

“Throughout my years of service, I have had the privilege of working alongside some of the most dedicated, bravest, courageous and selfless men and women.

“Your unshakable commitment to our nation, our values and our mission has been a constant source of inspiration.

“The bonds we have forged in the face of adversity is unbreakable, and I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity to have served with each and everyone of you,” he added.

Irabor said that without doubt, the nation should be proud of its military who have remained unwavering in facing the many security concerns of the country. (NAN)

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