The Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), has urged Christians to take advantage of the Christmas services and supplications to pray for the country to overcome her security challenges.
This was contained in a statement issued to PRIME TIME NEWS on Wednesday and signed by Mr Mohammad Abdulkadri, the Special Assistant to The Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi On Media and Publicity.
Gen Magashi gave the charge in a statement felicitating with Christians on the occasion of Christmas celebration.
He urged Christians to be Christ-like in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ by showing compassion to fellow Nigerians irrespective of religeous differences and to pray for peace in the country.
The Defence Minister harped on the need for peaceful co-existence, unity and peace especially as the country is fighting insurgency, banditry and kidnapping among other criminal tendencies.
He said the season is the reason to turn to God in fervent prayer to crown the sacrifices of our fighting forces to attain maximum victory over the adversaries.
While giving kudos to the troops who by reason of their call to duty which is primarily to defend the nation’s territorial integrity, will not be able to celebrate Christmas with their families and loved ones, assured them that the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari will not allow their sacrifices to go unrewarded.
Gen. Magashi therefore noted that the least appreciation Nigerians can show to the nation’s gallant soldiers who are fighting patriotically so that the citizens can sleep with their eyes closed (even when they themselves can’t afford to sleep) is to pray for them and be security conscious at this auspicious time.
He thanked the leadership of the services and heads of security agencies and their civilian counterparts for the recent feat attained in the timely rescue and return of the kidnapped students in Kankara, Katsina State.
The Minister described the successful operation that culminated in bringing back the kidnapped children as unprecedented in denying the kidnappers freedom of action, saying that such victory over the adversaries is the most beautiful Christmas and New Year special gift to the nation.
He pointed out what he called unpatriotic doubt expressed in an on-line publication regarding the assurances he gave the parennts of the kidnapped children during his visit to Katsina State that the military will do everything humanly possible to bring them back soonest which he said has been proved right.
The Minister tasked the troops in various locations to be focused in invigorating their firing power and to hold the ground resolutely without allowing any crack on the walls of national defence; adding that the support of all Nigerians is critical to the attainment of security for the country for hitch free yuletide celebrations and beyond.