Discharged soldiers still relevant – Chief of Army staff says

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By Kingsley Chukwuka

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, has said discharged soldiers are still relevant to protecting the territorial integrity of the country.

He said their disengagement does not mean they cannot discharge their duties outside the body of the military, adding that most of them who are outstanding will soon be re-engaged to continue to provide their services to their father land.

“The Army is still open to your invaluable contributions toward attaining her constitutional mandate and would always welcome your support in that regard”, COAS said.

Gen Faruk stated this during a valedictory buffet organised in honour of 2021 disengaged soldiers within 82 Division Area of Responsibility held in Enugu on Friday.

Represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, Faruk also charged the disengaged soldiers to continue to defend the territorial integrity of the country which they swore an oath of allegiance to.

Encouraging the soldiers, Faruk also expressed commitment of his administration to enhance the welfare of discharged personnel within the power of his office assuring them of the availability of Army health facilities and other welfare institutions across the nation to support both serving and ex personnel.

On his part,  the GOC 82 div. Lagbaja, loaded the discharged soldiers for making the Division proud and putting in their best while they served under the Division.

According to him: “We are grateful to the COAS for approving this valedictory buffet. This particular event, which has come to stay in the activities of the Nigerian Army, is the brain-child of the COAS as he is totally committed to the welfare of troops and discharged soldiers as well”, he said

Responding, Army Warrant Officer Jonas Tambari (retired), who spoke on behalf of the discharged soldiers, appreciated God Almighty for giving the discharged soldiers sound health and mind to attend the valedictory buffet.

Tambari however regretted that they are leaving the service when the nation is facing security challenges, adding that they will continue to give support, advice and guidance when there is a need to do so.

Our correspondent reports that the ceremony was conceived out of the COAS desire to accord a befitting send off party to all personnel that have served the Nigerian Army and Nation meritoriously and are discharging from active service.

It had its maiden in 2021 in Abuja with the official send off of retiring major generals and brigadier generals.