By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Chief of Army Staff, Maj -Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has urged officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to remain resolute and determined in dealing insurgency and other adversaries confronting the nation.
Yahaya gave the charge at the interdenominational church service as part of activities to commemorate the 2021 Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) at Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja.
He said that NADCEL was a celebration of commitment, doggedness, sacrifice and unity of purpose in ensuring the defence and security of the nation.
“I urge us all not to rest on oars but to continue until we completely defeat and destroy this insurgency and other criminal elements’ activities in our country and render it a more secure and peaceful nation.
“I also urge us all any where we are to remain resolute and determined and with our determination, comment and prayers, we will get there.
“We have made some successes; we should not rest on our oars but continue in that regard,” he said.
The COAS said that they in the military believed in the efficacy of prayer and it is a usual practice to have prayers at both mosques and churches as part of activities lines up for NADCEL.
He said that there was need to constantly be in prayer, giving glory to God for his mercies and guidance as well for the successes God had granted the military in its operations.
While giving reasons for attending the church event being a Muslim, Yahaya said it was borne out of the believe in the military that there is unity of purpose in everything, such as operations.
“The message is that in the military, we are one unit. We believe that there are Muslims, Christians and we operate all as one unit.
“The military job is not about individual and that is why we are arranged in units and sub-units.
“In the army for example, we have sections, we have company, we have battalion, we have brigade and there is no division.
“Whether you are Muslim or Christian, we pray together before we go operations and in operation, when we line up, the man next to you may be a Christian and it does not matter to us because the essence is unity and synergy with other services and security agencies,” he said.
He commended the officers and soldiers wives for holding forth in the home fronts while their husbands were working to keep the nation safe and secure.
While giving his sermon during the service, the Director of Chaplaincy Services (Protestant), Col. Islongo Mairiga, an Anglican Venerable, described the Nigerian Army as a pride of the nation.
Mairiga, while reading from the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 4:1, 9-12, emphasised the importance of oneness and unity of purpose which he said remained a force for successful operations.
He said that peaceful living and availability of food are two vital interests of any nations, urging troops irrespective of their ranks to always look up to each other.
“We are praying for Nigerian Army, the nation and the COAS so that collectively, we put our hands together to see to the success that we have in mind in this joint enenvironment,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Chief of Defence Communication, Maj.-Gen. Elvis Njoku, represented the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor and other senior officers.
The Acting Chief of Policy and Plans (Army), Maj.-Gen. Tari-Timiye Gagariga, the Chief of Civil Military Afffairs (Army), Maj.-Gen. Anthony Omozoje and other principal staff officers and commanders as well as members of NAOWA also attended the church service.
NADCEL is celebrated annually from July 1 to July 6 with series of activities which include humanitarian activities and the climax being the COAS commendation awards and lectures on July 6. (NAN)