President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has appealed to the officials of the armed forces to be courageous and steadfast in protecting our nation and the faith of Islam. He made these remarks at the Oath Taking and Arms Presentation ceremony held for the graduates of the 67th Basic Training Course of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF). The ceremony was held at the MNDF military base, Kalhuthuhkalaa Koshi, on Thursday night. First Lady Fazna Ahmed, the Minister of Defence, Mariya Ahmed Didi, Chief of Defence Force Major General Ahmed Shamal and other senior MNDF officials attended the ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Solih described the role of MNDF officials as far more than just the armed forces protecting the nation, but also that of serving civic duties and stepping in to save the day whenever the country or the society needs their aid. He stated that the highest objective of every MNDF official should be to defend the independence and sovereignty of the nation while protecting the people and the Maldivian Constitution. He also stated that it is the responsibility of the armed forces to protect the legal administration from any threats or harm that may occur to disrupt the system.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Solih highlighted that recruitment for the current batch of the MNDF basic training course occurred at a time where the world is facing many challenges, regionally and internationally, in the form of terrorism and extremism. He stated that it was important for MNDF officials to be more aware of such challenges caused due to different mentalities and to be prepared to face such situations.
In this context, he provided updates on ongoing defence capacity building efforts as well as recognising the threat posed by terrorism to the country. President Solih emphasised that the service of the armed forces is not just a job but a sacrifice made in the name of the country. He added that the fundamental characteristics of good MNDF officials would be vigilance, to treat civilians without prejudice, to be genuine and courteous, and to avoid adverse parts of society, as well as to be an example to the people.
The President also urged MNDF officials to prioritise their best conduct while addressing the nation's difficulties. He also stressed the necessity of remaining free from political influence while serving the country. The Maldivian Constitution and the Armed Forces Act, he said, would pave the road towards the proper course.