1. The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General AG Olonisakin was on Monday 12 February 2018 conferred with the Liberian national award of Distinguished Service Order in recognition of his contributions to the development of the Armed Forces of Liberia. The award ceremony took place during the 61st Anniversary of the Armed Forces of Liberia which took place in the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
2. The Armed Forces of Liberia day was filled with pump and pageantry as it was the first to be presided over by President George Manneh Weah since his inauguration as the 24th President of the Republic of Liberia. President Weah who conferred the award of Distinguished Service Order on the CDS, expressed appreciation to the government and people of Nigeria, particularly the Chief of Defence Staff for his continued support for the Armed Forces of Liberia especially in the areas of training and promotion of peace through the recently concluded United Nations Mission in Liberia.
3. General Olonisakin who was also the Guest Speaker at the occasion, appreciated the Liberian government’s recognition of the cordial relationship between the government of Liberia and Nigeria. In his keynote address, the CDS enjoined members of the Armed Forces of Liberia to see itself as part of the people in order to provide the needed services and support for the security and national development of Liberia. He added that “If the military has to be part of the nation-building efforts of the people, it must have a clear understanding and workings of the principles of supremacy of the Liberian class, military professionalism and the need for improved Civil-Military Relations.
4. The CDS also seized the opportunity to emphasise the need for improved welfare for members of the Armed Forces of Liberia in terms of accommodation, uniforms, mobility and reasonable equipment to perform their roles and functions effectively. He however encouraged the military to make do with the resources provided by the state as there are always competing demands. General Olonisakin concluded his speech by reiterating that ”discipline, loyalty and obedience are three virtues of military professionalism that cannot and must not be sacrificed on the altar of convenience, complaint or lame excuses”.
5. Other Nigerian recipients of the Distinguished Service Order include Major General SZ Uba, the Force Commander UNMIL and Colonel EM Albara the pioneer member of the ECOWAS Advisory Training Team in Liberia.