By Mohammed Tijjani
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, on Friday said Nigerian Army remained committed to enhancing the welfare of its retired and discharged personnel.
Faruk disclosed this in a good message he sent to the send-off ceremony and regimental dinner night in honour of 14 retired officers of the ranks of colonel and below in 1 Division of the Nigerian Army.
The COAS was represented on the occasion by the Commandant Depot, Nigeria Army, Maj.-Gen. Aminu Chinade.
He said the occasion was conceived out of the desire to accord a befitting send- off ceremony to all personnel that served the army and the nation meritoriously and were retiring from active service.
According to him, retirement is an inevitable phase in the life of every military personnel and it marks the completion of active service to the nation.
“I must commend you all for the remarkable achievement you made while in active service to the nation.
“I wish to also assure you that Nigerian Army remained grateful for the service you rendered in the defence of our fatherland.
“I will like to take this opportunity to inform you of ongoing efforts to re-engage the services of our qualified retired and discharged personnel in order to continue to benefit from your wealth of priceless experience and professionalism garnered over the years.
“The army is still open to your invaluable contributions towards attaining her constitutional mandate and would always welcome your support in that regard,” he said.
Yahaya informed the retired officers that the army health facilities and other welfare institutions were available to them in various barracks and cantonments across the nation.
He implored them to fulfill their obligations, even as retired officers, towards defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria, as espoused in their oath of allegiance.
“I also urge you all to shun all forms of misconduct or actions capable of bringing the army into disrepute in retirement, as you are seen as worthy ambassadors of the Nigerian Army.
Also, the Guest of Honor, Maj.-Gen. Mahmud Yarima (rtd), emphasised that retirement was a gratifying phase in the life of every military personnel.
Yarima, erstwhile Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy, said retirement was a milestone which was worth celebrating.
He cautioned the retirees on how to use their entitlements, as there were many fraudsters prowling for those to defraud.
“You must be careful of falling victims of their fraudulent activities, they have misled many of our colleagues and the outcome has not been pleasant.
“All I need to say in this regard is that you must ‘shine your eyes’, ” he said.
Also, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen Kabir Mukhtar, said this historic event signified another milestone made by the administration of the COAS in his zeal to upholding regimentation of the Nigerian Army.
Mukhtar said the four vital elements of the COAS administration, professionalism, readiness, administration and cooperation were aimed at running an all-inclusive Nigerian Army at all levels.
He said: “Today, we are here to celebrate and honour our retired officers who in many ways have contributed to the Nigeria Army in particular and the nation in general.’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 14 officers were honoured at the occasion. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)