By Muhammad Tijjani
The Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen Salihi Magashi (Rtd), on Sartuday inducted 49 Branch Commission (BC) officers and 1,549 Basic Military Training Course (BMTC) Recruits into the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
Magashi, represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Leo Irabor, at the combined passing out parade of the BC officers and the BMTC recruits, said it is first-ever combined passing out parade in the history of the NAF.
He said the combined graduation is a testimony of the commitment of the NAF to operate a professional Service properly structured, appropriately manned and adequately trained to provide security for Nigeria and Nigerians.
He noted that the military profession requires absolute discipline, loyalty and hard work, among other virtues.
“It is much more than just a job, especially at this crucial time in our Nation’s history, when we are battling the challenges of insecurity on several fronts,” he said.
Magashi noted that the personnel are expected to secure the lives and properties of Nigerians and ensure that they live in peace and pursue their legitimate aspirations without fear.
He stressed that the service needed extraordinary courage, commitment and patriotism, and Nigeria would continue to count on them in exhibiting the qualities in discharging their duties for the overall good of the country.
“I must highlight that the training was deliberately made to be demanding to simulate as closely as possible the real-life scenarios you are likely to encounter going forward.
“While you have every reason to feel proud and fulfilled for what you have achieved, it is important to remind you that this is just the beginning of another challenging but rewarding phase of your careers as officers and airmen, airwomen in the NAF,” he said.
Magashi urged the graduands and all personnel to ensure optimal utilization of resources while subordinating their personal interests to those of the service and the Nation by exhibiting the core values of Integrity, service before self and excellence for which the NAF is known.
He implored them not to relent in their respective assigned duties and assured them of his continued support to sustain capacity development efforts.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his support to meeting Armed Forces operational and logistics requirements in general and the NAF in particular.
He commended the Chief of Air the Staff for providing the right leadership to his personnel, noting that the measures emplaced to engender transparency, accountability and prudent utilisation of resources for optimal are encouraging.
“The Federal Government’s recent procurement of new platforms such as the J-F17 thunder multi-role aircraft and super tucano attack aircraft to enhance the capacity of NAF to tackle current security challenges in the country is a testament to Mr President’s quest for equipping the NAF.
“The NAF is also expecting the delivery of the DA-42 surveillance aircraft, A109 trekker helicopters and beechcraft KA-360i aircraft in the next few years, among so many other requirements,”Magashi said.
He pledged their unalloyed loyalty and total commitment towards restoring peace and order in all parts of the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the BC officers have served various numbers of years in the NAF as non-commissioned officers upon their commissioning as flying officers in a combined graduation with the recruits. (NAN)