By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Chiefs of Army Staff (COAS) Major General Faruk Yahaya on Thursday said that the Nigerian civil war was an unfortunate tragedy , saying “reconciliation is instrumental to strengthening national unity.”
The Maj.-Gen. Yahaya who stated this during a press briefing on Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) 2021, is an annual event which was first celebrated on 6th July 1978, in solemn remembrance of that historic moment of first shot released on 6th July, 1967 marking the commencement of the country’s 30-month Civil War.According to him, “The event is celebrated to equally bring to the knowledge of all Nigerian Army personnel and indeed all Nigerians that the war was an unfortunate tragedy and the reconciliation afterwards should be instrumental to strengthening our national unity.”He said,the weeklong annual event lined up to commemorate NADCEL 2021 will be used to reflect on the performance of the NA and celebrate our achievements as well as project the Nigerian Army as an important symbol of national power, unity, integration and development. He said the Nigerian Army also uses NADCEL as a medium to reflect on its performances in previous year for effective projections, noting that the Nigerian Army over the years has performed exceedingly in these regards and has contributed immensely to a united, peaceful and secured Nigeria.
He said as part of the celebration, lessons are being drawn from numerous operational activities of the Nigerian Army amidst daunting security challenges peculiar to each region of the country.He said the Nigerian Army is mindful of the confidence placed on it by President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians to tackle all security challenges confronting the nation. He said : “The NA uses NADCEL as a medium to reflect on its performances in previous year for effective projections. In doing this, lessons are being drawn from numerous operational activitics of the Nigerian Army amidst daunting security challenges peculiar to each region of the country. This requires both doggedness, commitment, perseverance and sacrifice from all personnel of the Nigerian Army. “This responsibility has no doubt become compelling particularly in view of our multifaceted security challenges. The Nigerian Army with the collective effort, cooperation and commitment of other security agencies as well as citizens have been able to live up to its expectations though with some rooms for improvement. “We are also profoundly mindful of the confidence placed on us by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces president Muhammadu Buhari and indeed the citizens to defeat our adversaries and secure the territorial integrity of our dear nation. This must be achieved within the shortest possible time.”
He added that this year’s event will be celebrated in low key given the circumstances that led to his assumption of command as the COAS.
He noted that the demise of the late former COAS Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others who lost their lives in the most unfortunate air mishap at Kaduna International Airport on 21 May 2021 significantly affected the scheduled activities for NADCEL 2021.
He said that though low key the celebration is worthwhile as it will create an opportunity to showcase the doggedness and unwavering commitment of the Nigerian Army’s personnel in the face of daunting security challenges.“Other activities lined up to mark the NADCEL 2021 Celebration. These include, Juma’at Prayers in all Nigerian Army formations and units on Friday 2 July 2021 which will be followed by Interdenominational Church Service to be held in all Nigerian Army formations and units across the nation on Sunday 4 July 2021. The NADCEL 2021 will also enable the Nigerian Army reach out to the public through its Medical Outreach Programme on Monday 5 July 2021, during which inhabitants of some selected communities around the country will benefit from a free medical services. Equally there will be Humanitarian Outreach programme to be conducted by members of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) in selected areas of FCT and environs on 5 July 2021. The NADCEL 2021 activities will culminate with a lecture and COAS Commendation Award on Tuesday 6 July 2021 at Command Officers Mess 1, Asokoro Abuja,” he said.