By Sylvester Thompson
Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) has urged the military to continue to abide by the principles of patriotism, service to the nation and humanity at large.
Ibas gave the charge at a dinner heldb on Saturday night to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 26 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Abuja.
Ibas reminded officers of the security challenges presently facing the country, and urged officers and men of the armed forces not to remain aloof at this crucial period in the nation’s history.
He said after dedicating their youth and energy defending this cause, they should continue to pledge their loyalty and support to securing the future of the nation.
The chief of naval staff urged officers to be “ambassadors of mutual tolerance, peaceful co-existence, patriotism and national cohesion.’’
He also used the ocassion of the anniversary to salute colleagues who had passed on in service to their fatherland.
Ibas also pledged continuous support to families of the fallen heroes.
“I congratulate all gallant members of the 26 Regular Course on the successful inauguration of the 26 Regular Course Alumni Association
Sqn Ldr Kayode Shobajo, president of 26 Regular Course Alumni Association, on behalf of the association donated N10 million as their contribution to the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA).
The CNS, who was conferred pioneer grand patron of the association, said the endowment fund was intended to boost teaching and learning at the academy in line with global best practices.
“It is our hope that the NDA as our partner in most of these novel intervention, will provide the enabling environment for the attainment of our collective objectives.
“On the part of the 26 Regular Course Alumni Association, I wish to assure that the alumni shall continue to provide the necessary support to ensure sustainability of the endowment,’’ Ibas said.
Chairman of the occasion, Gen Zamani Lekwot (Rtd), said the 26 Regular Course like their predecessors, were all in the NDA in their prime as potential officers with big dreams.
He said the NDA had produced great movers of the armed forces and custodians of the country’s security.
According to him, the curriculum of the academy provides a critical balance between a good university degree and high calibre leadership training.
Lekwot maintained that the NDA was the best tertiary institution in Nigeria because the academy balances university degree programmes and leadership training.
“The cadets and staff don’t go on strike and attending lectures is a parade, so every minute is used, he said.
Shobajo, president of the alumni association said that it had been quite an achievement for them.
“ In the last 40 years, we have produced across the services over 40 generals that served the nation, including our very own CNS who has impacted so much on us.
“We are looking back 40 years, just like yesterday. We appreciate God’s goodness and mercies,’’ Shobajo said.