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2019 Guards Brigade WASA: Boss Mustapha Hails Professionalism/Commitment of troops of Brigade to assigned tasks.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustspha has commended the Guards Brigade, Nigerian Army for their professionalism and commitment in the performance of assigned tasks which he noted has brought pride to not only the seat of power, but also Abuja and neighbouring states.

Speaking as the Special Guest of Honour at the 2019 West Africa Social Activities of Guards Brigade, held on Saturday 11 January 2020 at the Mambilla Barracks, the SGF urged Guards Brigade of sustain the high standards of professionalism and if possible surpass it in the year 2020.

In his address, Commander, Guards Brigade, Brigadier General Mohammed Takuti Usman disclosed that the social activity which was scheduled for December last year, was moved to this year due to other national engagements and operational exercises that involved troops of the Brigade.

His words, “I wish to state with all sense of humility that we have been able to achieve the Brigades training objectives for the 2019 Training year which is to improve professionalism and sustain regimentation.

“This was made possible by the zeal and determination of officers and soldiers of Guards Brigade.

“To this end, we were able to organize Corporal below Competition, Drill Competition and Obstacle Competition just to mention a few.

“Interestingly, the Brigade was able to conduct its annual ritual of the Ascent of Aso Rock which was held on 28December 2019.

On the celebrations, Brig Gen Usman said, “WASA is an age-long military tradition aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere for relaxation for officers, soldiers and their families to socialize with their civilian friends at the end of a training year.

“The origin of WASA could be traced to as far back as the Second World War, when the Nigerian Army fought as part of the larger West African Frontier Force.

“During this period, indigenous West African armies come together to celebrate their cultural heritage with their kinsmen at the end of every year.

“This are usually marked with sacrificial offering and cultural dances during the event.

“It is also used to celebrate the harvest or the beginning of the planting season to usher peace, bumper harvest and progress for the New Year.

“In the past, delegates were usually sent to the military by the village heads to seek the release of soldiers for this yearly ritual.

“However, instead of releasing the soldiers yearly to perform the ritual at their country homes, the colonial military authorities then, incorporated this tradition to the armies and named it West African Social Activity popular known as WASA.

“This age long tradition introduced by the colonial masters is still being held in most of British colonies in the West African Sub region including Nigeria.

“This legacy has helped to command the confidence of soldiers, foster spirit de-corps and share in the spirit of existing cultural diversity of personnel and their families.

“Additionally, WASA plays a vital role of reminding the older generation of the Barracks community of the good times in Nigerian villages and at the same time, connecting the younger generation who were probably born outside their traditional communities to their roots.”

Highlight of the colourful ceremony was the tug of war competition between the battalions of the Brigade with 176 battalion emerging winners by defeating 7 Guards battalion.

The Nigerian Army National Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, Sergeant Ismaila Isah thrilled the crowd with some unbelievable skill and display of strength, using his teeth to lift a full bag of cement, pulling an armoured personnel vehicle single handedly, pulling a pickup patrol van complete with 6 soldiers while also putting his hand on the ground for the vehicle to climb over.

Among excited and visibly entertained guest at the WASA were a former GOC 3 division, Major General Saleh Maina (rtd), former Commanders of Guards Brigade namely, Major General RL Akpata (rtd) and Brigadier General AA Mustapha, Commander DHQ Garrison, Major General KAY Ishiaku, Director of Plans at Army HQ, Major General BO Sawyer, AVM Idris represented the Chief ofAir Staff, Brig Gen AF Fage represented the minister of Defence.

Others were the Commander, Presidential Air Fleet, Air Commodore AY Abdullahi, Commanding Officer, Guards Brigade Garrison, Lt. Col Maina, Commanding Officer, 7 Guards Battalion, Lt Col Mukta Daroda, and Commanding Officer, 177 Guards Battalion, Keffi, Col Musa Uba among others.

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