COAS FETES ARMY RETIREES IN FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND VALEDICTORY LUNCHEON, URGES THEM ‘TO PARTICIPATE IN VISION OF ARMY EVEN IN RETIREMENT’




By Oki Samson


In a first-of-its-kind occasion, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya has shared his well-wishes and immense gratitude to retiring soldiers of the Nigerian Army. The event which held in various Army formations across the country was a befitting valedictory ceremony for soldiers who were discharged from service in 2021.

In a special valedictory buffet luncheon which held last weekend at Command Day Secondary School Hall, Nigerian Army Cantonment, Ikeja, Lagos, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya expressed his goodwill message to Army retirees in Nigerian Army 81 Division which covers Lagos and Ogun states. The Goodwill message was delivered by the General Officer Commanding 81 Division, Maj. Gen. UT Musa.

In his message, COAS Lt. Gen. Yahaya said: ‘This occasion was conceived out of my desire to celebrate officers that have served Nigerian Army and the nation meritoriously.

We are here to celebrate officers who are discharged from Service in 2021. This also affords the Army the opportunity to celebrate with the spouses, family, and friends of the retired officers and soldiers.’
‘This concept has long been overdue but because of the precarious security situation which has bedeviled our country for over 1 decade will not permit it. However, the event has come to stay as it will be a yearly occurrence in all formations’, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP gathered.

Charging the retirees, Lt. Gen. Yahaya noted: ‘Retirement is an inevitable phase in the life of any military person and it marks the completion of active service to the nation as such I am delighted to celebrate with you today. I must commend you for the remarkable achievement while in active service. You are ambassadors of Nigerian Army, you can never be tired. I affirm my vision to have professional Army in the defence of Nigeria’s territorial integrity. I urge you to participate in this vision even in retirement.’

The most senior army officer who was retiring at the valedictory session, Master Warrant Officer Okonkwo gave the vote of thanks to the Chief of Army Staff. ‘We thank Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya for giving a sense of belonging to the forgotten and appreciating us for a job well done for us to serve for 35 years. May God bless and honour him and his family. This is a landmark which I hope will continue to exist.’

‘We equally thank Maj. Gen. UT Musa for his wealth of experience since coming to Lagos and Ogun states. This is a well-organized event. God will continue to bless you. We thank the Corp commander and other commanders who came to celebrate us. We thank CP Abiodun Alabi, may God bless you. We thank the Oba of Onigbongbo. We thank everyone who has come to celebrate with us.’

Top officers in the Nigerian Army present at the valedictory event include Maj. Gen. AS Ibikunle, Maj. Gen. NO Eneku, Brig. Gen. IN Abdullahi, Maj. Gen. UK Mukhtar, Brig. Gen. Ahmadu Ali, among others. The Lagos Commissioner of Police, CP Sylvester Abiodun Alabi was also physically present to celebrate with the deserving soldiers of the Army. The Oba of Onigbongbo, HRH Oba Olusegun Ajasa also attended the event among other dignitaries.

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