The Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) has posthumously honoured the late Lieutenant Colonel Abu Ali, who paid the supreme price in 2016 while combating insurgent/ terrorist elements in the the North East part of the country with a gallantry award. In the same vein, late Squadron Leader Victor Uba was also honoured posthumously for his gallantry in the fight against banditry in the North West in July 2021.
The late officers alongside 22 other military personnel were recognized and honoured at a dinner organised by the Defence Headquarters for members of the Armed Forces in commemoration of Nigeria’s 61st Independence Anniversary Celebration held in Abuja.
The serving officers honoured were: Brigadier Generals Mohammed Babayo, Musa Ibrahim, Commodore Patrick Effah, Lieutenant Colonels VK Tagwoi, GB Osiobrni, Major MA Narogo, Lieutenant Commander D Adeola and Flight Lieutenants AA Dairo and AK Galadaci.
Other recipients of the award in the Non- Commissioned Officers’ cadre were: Master Warrant Officers Olusegun FK, Shuaibu Y, Staff Sergeants ALiyu Umar, Emmanuel Managa, Sergeants Sadiq Pada, Bawa Samaila, Adamu Waziri and Leading Seaman Obende OJ. Others include: Lance Corporal Walshak R, Seaman Muhammed M, Private Oparah Chiguzie and Air Craftman Aderable AS.
The Honourable Minister of Defence (HMOD), Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, commended the current leadership of the AFN for observing the aged long sacred military tradition which seeks to promote regimentation and foster comradeship among senior and junior officers.
The HMOD noted that regimental dinner is a platform for officers to interact and share ideas on how to solve critical challenges facing their commands, with a view to fast-track the attainment of national security objective.
Maj Gen Magashi commended the role being played by the Armed Forces in the preservation and security of the nation since independence.
He noted that the “spectacular achievements of the security agencies in the fight against terrorism, insurgency, militancy and banditry amongst others are well recognized and appreciated.”
The Defence Minister assured the current AFN leadership of a sustained support in the provision of adequate logistics and equipment to aid the military in restoring lasting peace in the nation.
He used the opportunity to convey the appreciation of the president to the AFN for showcasing what he described as a colourful military parade during the Independence Day Anniversary Celebration at the Eagle Square.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, showered encomium on late Lt Col Abu Ali and other awardees for their gallantry, dedication and professionalism.
According to the CDS, the Armed Forces Independence dinner, afforded the service, the opportunity to celebrate and honour some of our personnel who have distinguished themselves during the conduct of operation and excelled in various fields.
These few personnel, the Defence Chief said have worked tirelessly in ensuring that the Nigerian military remain very effective in the discharge of its duties.
Gen Irabor also posited that the gathering was a clear demonstration of the reinvigorated cooperation and jointness being experienced in the AFN.
He averred that the military is proud of its roles and efforts in the Nigeria project, which it has raised to the occasion to confront security challenges with tremendous sacrifices in answering the clarion call.
In his words, “indeed, at no time in our nation’s history have members of the Armed Forces been so engaged as it relates to addressing the current myriad of security challenges in our dear country that threatened the very foundation of our unity, security and wellbeing.” the CDS added.
The CDS restated the commitment of members of the armed forces in upholding the territorial integrity of the nation as the service will continue to support civil authority and ensuring a secured and prosperous Nigeria.
He commended the wives and husbands of military personnel for supporting it’s various operations from the home front.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha who was the Guest of Honour gave a goodwill message at the event, also thank the AFN for defending the nation.
Highlights of the ceremony, were the observation of one minute silence in memory and honour of fallen heroes, who have paid the supreme sacrifices in the line of duty and the presentation of certificates of honour to the recipients.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mr Musa Istifanus, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, former Minister of Interior, Lt Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) and former COAS, Lt Gen Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd) were among the personalities that graced the event.
Deputy Director Defence Information
3 October 2021