The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Farouk Yahaya, on Saturday charged 250 retired soldiers under the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army to continue rendering selfless service to Nigeria.
He gave the charge in Kaduna at a valedictory buffet for 2021 in honour of the discharged soldiers in the 1 Division’s area of responsibility.
Mr Yahaya, a lieutenant-general, represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kabir Mukthar, said the oath the soldiers took at the beginning of their careers in the army was still in place even after retirement.
He noted that disengagement was an inevitable phase in the life of every military personnel and it marked the completion of active service to the nation.
He, however, said disengagement from active service was not a yardstick to stop rendering selfless services to Nigeria for its overall wellbeing and progress.
He explained that the occasion would afford the Army High Command the opportunity to celebrate with the spouses, families and friends of the discharged soldiers for a successful career in the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
Mr Yahaya disclosed that efforts were ongoing to re-engage the services of qualified discharged personnel, to continue to benefit from their wealth of experience and professionalism.
“Without doubt, those experiences and expertise would be relevant in enhancing the fighting efficiency of our army in its numerous ongoing operations.
“The army is still open to your invaluable contributions towards attaining her constitutional mandate and would always welcome your support in that regards,” Mr Yahaya said.
He also noted that his administration had remained committed to enhancing the welfare of discharged personnel, within the powers of his office.
“I will also like to inform you that our health facilities and other welfare institutions are available for you in various barracks and cantonments across the nation,” he said.
Yahaya implored the retirees to fulfil their obligations even as discharged soldiers in defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria as espoused in their oath of allegiance.
He urged them to shun all forms of misconduct or actions capable of bringing the army to disrepute, as they are seen as worthy ambassadors of the Nigerian Army.
He also urged them never to rest on their oars even as they disengaged from service until the war against criminality was brought to an end in favour of the Armed Forces and Nigeria in general.
He commended them for the remarkable achievements they made while in active service to the nation through the army, saying “You may be disengaged but the soldier’s spirit in you should never be tired.”
Also, the Guest of Honour at the event, Hussaini Saliu, a retired major-general,
said disengagement from service was a gratifying phase in the life of every military personnel.
He commended the effort of the COAS for his visionary leadership and strategic thinking in conceiving the idea of a valedictory buffet as part of the welfare of discharged soldiers.
Mr Saliu charged the personnel still on active service to devote themselves completely to the service of the nation and to avoid actions that could jeopardise the dignity and integrity of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the nation at large.
Earlier, the Garrison Commander, 1 Division, Chibueze Ogbuabo, said the discharged army veteran soldiers had served with commitment and selflessness.
He noted that they served meritoriously and contributed immeasurably in different capacities for the premier division of the Nigerian Army and the nation at large.
He explained that the event signified a milestone in the Chief of Army Staff’s zeal to uphold the four vital elements of his administration.
He congratulated them and wished them a meritorious life after service.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 250 retired non commissioned officers fell within the ranks of Master Warrant Officers (MWO) and Warrant Officers (WO).
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