Ex-Defence Chiefs Back Calls for Recall of Retired Military Officers to fFght Terrorism, Banditry
*NDA 36 Regular Course mourns death of 39 officers in active service
*CNS salutes resilience of members despite career rigours
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Two former Chiefs of Defence Staff, Gen Martin Luther Agwai (rtd) and Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim (rtd), weekend expressed support for the recent disclosure by the military high command that retired officers would be recalled to join in the fight against security challenges ravaging the country.
General Agwai stated that retired officers, having been trained at huge cost to the nation to defend its territorial integrity, cannot afford to stay aloof and watch the security situation degenerate.
Admiral Ola Sa’ad said retired officers must deploy their knowledge in arms and combat both individually and collectively in the nation’s interest when called upon to do so.
Both former defence chiefs spoke at the Post-Career Awareness Seminar and Retirement Dinner organised by the 36 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Abuja.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Faruk Yahaya, had in several meetings with retired senior military officers, urged them to be on stand-by despite retirement as current and emerging security threats had made it inevitable that their services would still be required in certain aspects.
Agwai said “while it is practically impossible to address all forseable security challenges, you, 36 Course retirees have a duty to continue to proffer solution and suggestions towards tackling the security challenges facing the nation. This is because the nation has invested a lot of money in making you who you are today”.
On his part Ibrahim stated that, “as retired military officers, you are trained to be focussed, disciplined, and decisive. These attributes will be required anytime the nation have a need. So you should be prepared to deploy your knowledge in the collective search to contain national security challenges. I urge you all to individually and collectively deploy your wealth of experience for the nation’s good when called upon.”
In his remarks at the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff and Patron of 36 Regular Course, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, said there was no doubt that members of the NDA Course 36 Regular Course had fulfilled service life despite rigors associated with military career.
“As we transit into post service life, which we all know possess its peculiarities, equipping ourselves with necessary strategies, knowledge and acumen to transit seamlessly cannot be overemphasised.
President of Course 36, Brigadier General Mustapha Onoiveta (rtd) in his address disclosed that out of the 205 officers that started the course, 39 of them have paid the supreme sacrifice noting that the remaining members have since forged a bond of unity that have seen through challenges.
“On 24 September 1984, a group of young, enthusiastic, and dedicated Nigerians, numbering 205 chose to start a new life and career which is dedicated to the service of our fatherland.
“These young men mostly in their teens, were oblivious of what awaited them, thereon. But they were determined to forge ahead. These are the Members of 36 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and together, we have forged a unity that has become the envy of many.
“The Course scored many first among which includes being the Course that pioneered the Degree-awarding programme in the NDA.
“Also, for the first time in the history of Academy, members of the Course passed out on four different occasions. This was as a result of the introduction of the Degree-awarding programme.”