President Muhammadu Buhari has visited troops at the headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri to celebrate 57th Independence anniversary.
Buhari charged the Armed Forces to remain loyal to the Nation in the face of agitations from various sections of the county.
The President, who addressed troops fighting the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East as part activities marking the Nation’s 57th Independence anniversary, said such loyalty was imperative to sustain the nation’s peace and unity.
“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 said.
On those agitating for separation, Buhari dismissed them as noise makers, adding that he knew much about the nation, having participated in the 30 months civil war which began in 1967 and ended in 1970.
“I was involved in 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,” he said.
To the troops, 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 in 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.
“I personally thank the Governor of this state, Borno, Kashim Shettima for his courage throughout the crisis – Boko Haram insurgency.”
The president gave the assurance that under his leadership resources would would be made available to support the Armed Forces.
He said that unless the nation is secured nobody would be able to pursue his or her business.
“I expect in return from you to be loyal and loyalty is from 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,” the President said.