…we are available for nation building, Col Anka (retd), assures
By: Okosun Dennis
When you are singled out for recognition, especially by an organization you served for over three decades before retirement, it brings tremendous sense of fulfilment.
It is much more gladdening, when such honour comes with a part on the back; which was complemented with special memorable plaques done in a beautifully decorated ambiance with sumptuous meals served at a Regimental Dinner Night.
That was the scenario at the 81 Division Officers’ Mess, Marina on Saturday night as some retired officers from the rank of Colonels and below, who had served in 81 Division’s Area of Responsibility were hosted in an unforgettable night by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya.
The COAS, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Major General Umar Thema Musa, in his Goodwill message reminded the officers that going on retirement doesn’t stop the army from seeking for their support until all the enemies of the country are decimated.
“In 2021, a dinner was organised for Brigadier Generals and Major Generals to honour them for serving the country meritoriously and honourably. I assure you that Nigerian Army remain grateful for your service rendered in defence of our Fatherland. I urge you not to rest in your oars until this war is brought to an end.
“However, I urge you to shun all forms of misconduct capable of bringing the Army to disrepute in retirement,” Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya reiterated in his Goodwill message to all the retiring officers.
In an interview with our correspondent, Col Mustapha Anka (retd) couldn’t hide his joy as he lavished the COAS and GOC with ecomium for the honour done all the retired officers. He pledged that they would continue to make themselves available for nation building and keeping the peace.
In his vote of thanks on behalf of the retired officers, Col Anka said, “This dinner night is first of its kind organised for us by the COAS. We feel so honoured, humbled, elated and recognised. This will go a long way in encouraging other people we are living behind that they would be accorded this kind of respect.
“Army trained me to strategic level and we are equal to the task. I appeal to my fellow country men to appreciate the Nigerian Armed Forces for the sacrifice they are making. The military need your assistance by given credible information and making sure there is peace and tranquility in the country.”
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the President Mess Committee (PMC) Brigadier General Danlami Ndahi said retirement is an inevitable phase in the life of an officer and marks a successful years in service. He appreciated the officers for the meritorious service to the nation especially their spouses for being there and ensure that the home front was well taken care of during their absence.
The retired officers honoured included Colonel Moses Abolanle of Chaplain, Colonel Igwe Ibemere, Col Mustapha Anka, who retired as the Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Public Relations and Information (NASPRI); Colonel Francis Ekoyo, Colonel Folarin Orolugbagbe of Medical Corps; Lieutenant Colonel Ceril Chukwuma Okafor of Infantry.
Others are Lieutenant Colonel Moses Babuba, Lt Col Abong Leku, Major Gabriel Ogwo, Major Rilwanu Isheida of the Directorate Army Public Relations, who was represented by the daughter, Miss Hadiza Isheida, Major Bisi Olajide, Major Paul Akpan and Lieutenant Emmanuel Adejoh.
All the retiring officers were honoured with the presentation of plagues and souvenirs. It would be recalled that the Regimental Dinner Night was specially organised for officers who retired in 81 Division in 2021.