President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday was in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, to celebrate the 57th independence anniversary with the country’s troops.
The president added that complete loyalty was expected from the armed forces in the face of agitations from various sections of the county.
He said: “I thought the only honour I can present to the military and other stakeholders on this great day is to come and address you, who are on the frontline. I am pleased with the nation and responsible opinions from all over the world, congratulating this administration for the progress we have made”
“Even for selfish reasons, your loyalty ought to be to the centre, first The security of this nation is in the hands of God and in the hands of the security.
“If you don’t stand firm, I assure you if Nigeria doesn’t exist, the first to be insecure are the security agencies because no matter how many parts Nigeria will be divided, nobody will take another general to preside over his country.”
Buhari described those agitating for separation as noisemakers, adding that having participated in the 30-month civil war, he knew much about the nation.
He continued: “I was involved in the civil war for 30 months, I know much about this country.”
“Those making noise about the stability of this country were not born then. They don’t know what it means to be a nationalist.”
“I expect in return from you to be loyal and loyalty is from the bottom upward, from private to lance corporal, corporal, up to sergeant, generals, service chiefs, otherwise the centre will not hold.
“But this centre is determined to hold.”
President Buhari was accompanied to the occasion by Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State. They were received by the service chiefs led by the CDS, as well as the state Commissioner of Police and heads of paramilitary agencies in the state.