Following the directive of the Chirf of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Faruk Yahaya that only retired service chiefs should be accorded honours befitting of their status, the Army headquarters on Wednesday night feted a total of 52 generals comprising 23 Major Generals and 29 Brigadier Generals who have retired and will be retiring from service in 2021.
The retired and retiring senior officers were presented with record of service certificate by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya at the veledictory dinner organized at the Command Officers Mess as part of activities of the COAS Annual Conference.
Speaking at the occasion the Army Chief said the event was designed to honour and appreciate the retired and retiring generals for their service to Nigerian army and the nation in general adding, “There was need to celebrate and be grateful to God for reachinv the peak of your career, especially when you recall that a number of your colleagues who joined the service with you passed on.
His said, “It is therefore my honor and privilege to most sincerely appreciate you all for your sacrifices and meritorious service to the nation and this gesture will in future be replicated at divisional and brigade levels for our retiring officers of the rank of colonel and below.
“It will also be designed for our soldiers and in the end this culture of appreciating and honoring our personnel on exit from loyal meritorious service to their fatherland will be entrenched and institutionalised as being witnessed today.
“The culture of loyalty, dedication, hard work commitment, courage and integrity that we all imbibed in the course of our career are noble virtues that we should continue to cherish and uphold.
“We should all continue to cultivate, nuture and nourish them and lie on them in and out of service I’m using the background have adequately prepared us provide very effectively on our virtues and poor values just success our acquired skill and competencies both tangible and intangible are sellable perhaps throughout our life-time
Gen Yahaya said the daunting security challenges facing the nation currently requird that all hands should be on deck toward arresting the situation.
Reiterating that the leadership of the NA would continue to consult and tap from the wealth of experience of the retired officers, he said, “On our part, we shall continue to explore avenues with a view to meaningfully engage, appreciate and support our retired colleagues in whatever way possible.
“I would also like to assure you of my commitment to improving the welfare of your families as our health facilities and other welfare packages will be available to you in various barracks and cantonment across the country.
“You are also welcome to attend our functions and sessions to extend your mentorship to the younger personnel who have always looked up to you for guidance and direction.
Earlier, Chief of Administration (Army), Maj.-Gen. Usman Muhammed while noting that the valedictory dinner is the first of its kind in the history of Nigerian army, recalled that it was only the service chief and a few senior officers who held strategic appointment at the time of their disengagement had hitherto been treated to such ceremony.
The COA Army said, “In recent past, most senior officers retired without being treated to any ceremony to mark their official exit from the service.
“It is against the backdrop that the COAS directed that a more befitting disengagement process be explored for retiring Nigerian army senior officers.
“Among the senior officers that are exciting from active service, we have 23 Major generals and 29 Brigadier generals.
“These distinguished Nigerian alongside their spouses are being honoured for their meritorious service to the nation.
“The senior officers have dedicated a better part of their lives to the defence of the territorial integrity of our dear nation.
“It is therefore appropriate to honour them and appreciate their service to the nation.
“This event will certainly afford the COAS the opportunity to personally appreciate the retired and retiring senior officers for their meritorious service to the Nigerian army,” he said.
He also disposed that the COAS had approved that the send off ceremony be held annually in the last quarter of the year.
“The COAS has also extended this gesture to retiring officers of the rank of colonel and below to be hosted to a retirement ceremony at their respective formations” he added.