The Nigerian Army has honoured 52 retired and retiring Major Generals and Brigadier Generals for their service to their fatherland at a maiden valedictory dinner held in Abuja.
The retired Generals comprise 23 Major Generals and 29 Brigadier Generals, who have dedicated their lives to service to the nation.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, in his keynote address 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.
He said there was the need to celebrate and be grateful to God for reaching virtually the peak of their career, adding that a number of their colleagues who joined the service with them had died.
“It is, therefore, my honour 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, nurture 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 lifetime,” General Yahaya said.
The COAS said the daunting security challenges facing the nation currently require that all hands should be on deck toward arresting the situation, hence the high command of Nigerian Army would continue to consult the retired Generals and count on their support to continue to tap from their wealth of experience.
“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 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,” he added.
For his part, the Chief of Administration (Army), Major General Usman Mohammed, in his welcome remarks at the valedictory dinner, said retirement is inevitable in the life of every public and civil servant including the servicemen.
He said the gesture was first of its kind in the history of the Nigerian Army.
Mohammed said 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 a ceremony.
According to him, most senior officers retired without being treated to any ceremony to mark their official exit from the service.
He said it was 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 today, we have 23 Major Generals and 29 Brigadier Generals.
“These distinguished Nigerian alongside their spouses are being honoured today 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.
Those honoured included Maj Gen JA Orokpo retired, Maj Gen OO Soleye retired, Maj Gen AM Atolagbe retired, FO Agugo retired, Maj Gen John Malu retired and others who are billed to retire on December 20, 2021.