By Chimezie Godfrey
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General, Faruk Yahaya has reiterated his commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of families of officers and soldiers who paid the supreme price in the defence of the country.
The COAS who disclosed this in a statement expressed his delight to felicitate with all officers, soldiers, civilian staff of the Nigerian Army and their families on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir 2021 Celebration.
He also expressed his sincere gratitude to the Almighty God for His mercies, protection and guidance over the Nigerian Army while discharging its obligations to Nigeria.
He said,”The Eid-el-Kabir Festival brings a special reminder for us as it highlights the virtues of loyalty, obedience and sacrifice which are also the hallmark of professional soldiering.
“The Eid Festival therefore provides a unique opportunity for us to reflect and redouble our efforts towards fulfilling our constitutional roles of defeating our adversaries and defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
“No doubt the Nation is faced with myriads of security challenges. The Nigerian Army has so far lived up to expectations and will continue to remain focussed in tackling these challenges.
“I therefore wish to specifically recognise and appreciate the immense sacrifices of our troops in Operations HADIN KAI, HADARIN DAJI, THUNDER STRIKE, WHIRL STROKE and all other operations the NA is engaged both in the Country and abroad.
“Let me use this opportunity to once again pay special tributes to our colleagues who have paid the supreme price in the defence of our Fatherland. May their gentle souls rest in peace, ameen.
“It is important to re-iterate at this point that the welfare of my officers, soldiers and their families will continue to receive adequate attention under my watch.
“Our hospital facilities and services are being improved upon and I am ever determined to ensure the healthcare of personnel and their families both within and outside the Country.
“Those wounded in action will be adequately treated and their requirements such as wheelchairs, prothesis and other special vocational training will be provided.
“To our colleagues who have paid the supreme price, we shall continue to do our best to ensure the comfort of their families, through prompt payment of all their entitlements, including medical bills and school sponsorship of their children.”
The COAS appreciated officers and soldiers who have demonstrated competence and dedication in the discharge of their duties.
“On assumption of office, I promised to promote merit, applaud gallantry, celebrate excellence and honour our heroes.
“It was in that spirit that I conferred the COAS Commendation Award to some deserving officers and soldiers on Tue 6 Jul 21 during the NADCEL 2021.
“I shall continue to appreciate and applaud competence, diligence and dedicated service.
“As I will reward excellence and achievements, I will not hesitate to punish indiscipline, indolence, negligence and all untoward acts.
“In line with my vision to have “A Professional Nigerian Army Ready to accomplish Assigned Missions within a Joint Environment in Defence of Nigeria”, it is my resolve to focus on the core values of the NA which include Loyalty, Courage, Integrity and Selfless Service.
“I will also see to our return to the cherished customs, ethics and traditions of the Nigerian Army. While not compromising our investment in the officer cadres.
“I am particularly concerned with the development of individual soldier as well as empowering the Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs) and the Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) so that they can play their roles effectively as a bridge between the officers and soldiers,” he said.
He added that it is his desire to provide them with the necessary requirements that will enhance their confidence and competence in order to return them fully to their prestigious roles in the military hierarchy.
“In this wise, I have approved the issue of Hilux vehicles as official cars to RSMs beginning with AHQ and AHQ Gar RSMs; and this will cascade down the ladder to the battalion RSMs in due course.
“Similarly, I have authorised the construction of befitting tied down accommodation for RSMs and renovation of such existing structures to demonstrate my commitment in this endeavour.
“The overall aim is to develop the individual soldier, provide him with relevant skills, competences and good leadership by his NCOs and SNCOs who he will aspire to emulate.,” he said.
Gen. Yahaya who also appreciated and commended all gallant officers and soldiers, urged them to keep up the good works, ensure synergy with other Services, security agencies and all stakeholders.
He equally urged them to remain apolitical, and to continue to discharge their duties professionally in the defence of the Fatherland and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The COAS expressed his gratitude to President Buhari for his continuous and untiring support and strategic guidance to the Nigerian Army.
He he pledged the unalloyed loyalty of the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to the President, and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.