In a momentous investiture ceremony held on Thursday, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, congratulated and decorated 47 newly promoted officers with the prestigious rank of Major General.
Also decorated is the Director of Army Public Relations Onyema Nwachukwu who was also recently promoted to the new rank of Major General.
The ceremony which was attended by dignitaries, senior officers, family members, and well-wishers, marked the culmination of the officers’ dedicated service and commitment to the Nigerian Army.
COAS Lagbaja commenced his remarks by acknowledging the sacrifices made by the families of the promoted officers, emphasizing the integral role of spouses and children in supporting military personnel during their career ascent. He highlighted the blend of divine intervention and personal effort in achieving such an esteemed rank, stressing the importance of character, learning, conduct, and duty.
The COAS underlined the significance of the newly acquired rank, urging the officers to recognize that their journey had just begun. “What you do with the rank and the responsibilities that come with it counts tremendously,” he asserted, cautioning against any breach of trust and emphasizing the current zero-tolerance policy for incompetence within the military.
Addressing the Major Generals directly, COAS Lagbaja emphasized their new role as part of the policy formulating team and key contributors to the system. He reminded them that criticism should be constructive, and their loyalty to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the leadership of the Nigerian Army should be unwavering.
“You are now on the policy formulating team, and the system frowns at incompetence these days. This is the peak of your career, and there shall be zero tolerance for breach of trust,” COAS Lagbaja remarked.
The COAS challenged the officers to delve into understanding the intricacies of the Nigerian Army, the armed forces of Nigeria, and the country’s political, diplomatic, and economic dynamics. He encouraged logical and objective contributions to the system, highlighting the different skill set required at this stage of their careers.
As the officers prepare to assume various roles, including General Officer Commanding, principal staff officers, commanders, and potentially Chief of Army Staff or Chief of Defence Staff, COAS Lagbaja urged them to exhibit loyalty and dedication to their constitutional responsibilities.
In conclusion, COAS Lagbaja expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Honorable Minister of Defence, Mohammad Badaru Abubakar, and the Honorable Minister of State for Defence, Dr Muhammad Bello Matawalle, for their guidance and support to the Nigerian Army. He also acknowledged the support of the Chief of Defence Staff and fellow service chiefs.
The ceremony concluded with COAS Lagbaja extending his congratulations once again to the newly promoted Major Generals and their families, expressing best wishes for their continued success in life.