By Aluta News
Dec 26, 2023
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt..-Gen/ Taoreed Lagbaja, had expressed his
genuine respect and heartfelt gratitude to the gallant troops of the Nigerian Army for their unwavering dedication and sacrifice in ensuring the safety and security of the nation.
Lagbaja made the salutations at a lunch organised for troops in the field of the 1 Division Nigerian Army area of responsibility to commemorate the Christmas celebration and fast approaching new year.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the celebration was held at a Forward Operations Base (FOB), in Afaka, Kaduna North LGA of the state.
Lagbaja, represented by the Corps Commander Infantry, Maj.-Gen. Olufemi Oluyede, commended the troops courage and resilience in the face of adversity.
According to him, over fifty thousand troops would miss wishing their families and loved ones a Merry Christmas and a happy new year in person this season.
Lagbaja said,”This is not because they do not want to, but because they will be on duty across difficult-to-access towns, villages, and hamlets across the country and beyond.
“They are duty bound to stand on guard while other families rejoice and celebrate together, sometimes not knowing how similar celebrations are going on in their families.”
Speaking further, Lagbaja stressed that judging by the policies and unfolding programmes of the Federal Government, the Year ahead holds a lot of good prospects for Nigeria and the military.
“In the coming year, the Nigerian Army expects to take delivery of its helicopters and other combat enablers that will see a better security environment develop across the Country.
“Also, the Army Headquarters has initiated several welfare projects that will directly impact the lives of soldiers and their families. Your well-being is of utmost importance, and we shall continue to work tirelessly to provide you with the necessary resources and support to carry out your duties effectively,”he said
The Army chief also stressed that the Army was constantly confronted by some challenges, which it is striving to fulfill its constitutional obligations.
Lagbaja expressed optimism that with the support of the executive and legislative arms of government, the Army Headquarters would be able to boost the physical, moral, and conceptual components of its fighting power toward becoming a more efficient force.
He said the Army aims to work with sister services, the Nigeria Police Force, and other security agencies to create and maintain a peaceful, safe, and secured
environment for economic activities to thrive.
“As Chief of Army Staff, I desire to return our troops home to their families and loved ones safely. To this end, we look forward to creating a more stable condition that will allow for a drawdown in the strength of troops deployed on Internal security duties across the country.
“We shall endeavour to help build capacity in statutory security agencies to take charge of our internal security effectively. At the same time, we hope to
recalibrate our efforts towards our primary constitutional duty of ensuring our territorial integrity,”Lagbaja said.
In celebration of the Christmas and coming new year, he urged the troops to spend time with their comrades, share joyful moments, heartfelt conversations, and find solace in the camaraderie that binds them together as a formidable
Earlier, the General Officer (GOC) Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army Kaduna, Maj.-Gen. Valentine Okoro, explained that the Christmas celebration provided a unique and solid
avenue to appreciate the sacrifices, loyalty and commitments of troops in
the division’s Area of Responsibility (AoR).
He stressed that the threat matrix in the Division’s AOR has remained volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
Okoro said the Division has ensured stability in the AOR as exemplified with the security being enjoyed along the strategic Abuja-Kaduna rail/road corridor.
He added that several kidnap victims have been rescued while many other kidnap attempts were averted due to the Division’s proactive kinetic engagements.
The GOC ,therefore, said the modest successes were made possible
through the troops’ dedication and sacrifices in the field.
He added that, in line with the Command
Philosophy of the COAS which is, “To Transform the Nigerian Army into a Well-Trained, Equipped and Highly Motivated Force Towards Achieving our Constitutional Responsibilities within a Joint Environment”, the Army as a whole must continue to ensure that troops are motivated to accomplish all statutory tasks.
He explained that this lunch was, therefore, organised to appreciate the troops efforts and sacrifices during the year.
Okoro also said it was an avenue
to spur them not to rest on their oars but to redouble efforts to ensure
there is no safe haven for terrorists and insurgents within the 1 Division AOR.
He thanked the COAS who made the gathering possible and for providing the
needed resources to organise the event in the face of the competing demands of the Nigerian Army.