Noah Ebije, Kaduna.
As preparation for the 2019 general elections gather momentum, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj.-Gen M. Mohammed has warned officers and men of the Nigerian Army to stay clear of politics.
Gen. Mohammed noted that it was unconstitutional for soldiers to involve themselves in politics other than to remain discipline and ensure peace and stability across the country.
The GOC spoke at the weekend as special guest of honour at Basawa Cantonment Community, Zaria, on the occasion of its 2017 West African Social Activities (WASA).
He said, “As we progress in another training year, I therefore charge you to remain focused, apolitical and highly resilient to all forms of distractions.
“This is most important at this time that the Nigerian Army is making all efforts to consolidate on the achievements recorded in all its activities geared towards ensuring peace and stability across the country.
“It is indeed heartwarming that the Nigerian Army establishments in Basawa Cantonment comprising the Nigerian Army School of Military Police, Nigerian Army School of Legal Services and 11 Field Engineer Regiment have impressively sustained the age long military tradition of holding West African Social Activities annually after a successful training year.
“This event as you are aware is a regimental event which affords informal and social interaction of officers, soldiers and their families to celebrate a successful training year.
“It is also an avenue for the barrack community to showcase the rich and diverse cultures of our nation. I am glad to observe that the officers and men as well as their families are in tune with the rich tribal cultural prowess for which our great country Nigeria is known for.
“Judging by the brilliant displays by the various cultural troupes that performed at this event, it is evident that you all have not broken links with your cultural backgrounds.
“I am therefore convinced that this gathering today has been worthwhile and the aim of the West African Social Activities which is to promote cultural harmony, team spirit and tolerance among military personnel has been achieved.
“More so, as I urge all officers and soldiers to remain proactive in the discharge of your constitutional responsibilities and to redouble your efforts in achieving greatness in the year 2018”.
The GOC admitted that, “The Nigerian Army is not oblivious of some of the challenges you are facing in the Cantonment and I would like to reiterate that efforts would be made to address them in due course.
“On this note, I will like to commend and thank the Commandants of the Nigerian Army School of Military Police and the Nigerian Army School of Legal Services, as well as the Commanding Officer 11 Field Engineer Regiment, staff officers, soldiers and families on your tireless contribution, hard work and dedication to the continuous excellence of the Cantonment”.
Earlier, the Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Military Police, Brigadier General OL Olayinka expressed gratitude to the Chief of Army Staff for the continuous support during the Year 2017 training activities which culminated to the 2017 West African Social Activities.
Brigagier General Olayinka also noted that the presence of the Special Guest of Honour, General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army Maj Gen M Mohammed, has reassured the cantonment of the high premium the GOC place on welfare and morale of Nigerian Army Personnel, their families and indeed all the Nigerian Army units/formations in 1 Division Area of Responsibility.
The Commandant explained, “West Africa Social Activities is an age-long tradition in the Nigerian Army aimed at bringing officers, soldiers, their families and friends together to promote the rich socio-cultural heritage of our great country Nigeria.
“It further provides an opportunity to appreciate troops for their contributions to the successes achieved during the year.
“The origin of West Africa Social Activities could be traced to the British Colonial Army era, when young and able-bodied troops with diverse traditional or cultural heritage were enlisted into the colonial Army from their Anglo-phone West African Colonies to serve in the British Expeditionary Force in different parts of the world.
“Since independence, the Nigerian Army has continued to retain this tradition in order to promote its diverse ethno-cultural and social coloration as well as foster esprit-de-corps amongst personnel.
“As we progress in the 2018 Training Year, we want to assure the Special Guest of Honour of our collective resolve to remain focused and highly dedicated in the implementation of the 2018 Chief of Army Staff Training Directives as it concerns our various Institutions.
“This is aimed at the realisation of the Chief of Army Staff vision which “to have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its constitutional roles”. To our dear families and all residents of this Cantonment, I want to implore you all to continue your unflinching support to us by taking good care of the home front while we concentrate on our noble career”.