A former president, Ibrahim Babangida, on Sunday urged Nigerians and governments at all levels to serve as national vanguards in resolving some recent disturbing incidents affecting national security.
Mr. Babangida, a retired army general, made the call in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
According to the statement, the media should serve as national vanguards in tackling the present security challenges facing the country.
It is customary to observe the Armed Forces Day on the 15th January every year to remember officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces who laid down their lives for the unity of our country.
Mr. Babangida called on Nigerians to demonstrate appreciation of the courage of the gallant fallen heroes by appreciating their contribution and providing support for the welfare and upkeep of the families they left behind, especially their widows and children.
He said it was necessary at this period when the nation was faced with myriads of challenges of terrorism, communal clashes, kidnapping, cultism and gangsterism, among other criminalities.
“We should cooperate and support our security with relevant information and intelligence to help in tackling the problems.
“As people we should inculcate our cultural values that promote good conduct, tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
“We should eschew hate speeches, discrimination and other vices that trigger senseless violence and bloodshed.
“We have witnessed so much bloodshed through communal clashes and conflicts that need urgent actions to stop them now.
” As we enter the electioneering period, I urge our political office holders as well as politicians from all political parties to be conscious of their campaign slogans.
“For the members of the armed forces and security agencies, I urge them to remain apolitical, neutral and focus on the ethics of discipline which is the hallmark of their profession.
“In conclusion, I wish to once again express my condolence to the families of members of the Armed Forces who lost their lives in their effort to keep Nigeria secured in various military operations.”