President Goodluck Jonathan has tasked newly commissioned officers to join hands with the Federal Government on the ongoing transformation in the Nigerian military, which he said was borne out of the emerging security challenges confronting the nation.
While addressing graduating military cadets during their combined passing out parade from the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna, North West Nigeria on Saturday, President Jonathan gave assurances of the Federal Government’s commitment to improving the welfare of serving and retired military officers who laid down their lives for the security of the nation.
President Jonathan, who was also the reviewing officer at the ceremony, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the academy, said that the Government would soon come up with a programme to honour fallen military personnel.
While highlighting the prominent role of the military in the security of the nation, he commended the NDA for churning out highly disciplined military officers who have contributed immensely to the security of the nation since its establishment in 1964.
He charged the newly commissioned officers to exhibit high sense of professionalism, which NDA is known for, in the course of their military career, warning that the government would not tolerate any act of indiscipline from them.
While noting that the Nigerian military ranks amongst the best in the world, he urged the graduating officers to also contribute their quota in the fight against insurgency in the North-East and other security challenges in other parts of the country.
A total of 114 Cadets of 61 Regular Course comprising of the Army, Navy and Airforce and another 213 Short Service Army Cadets of Course 42 were commissioned as officers. Out of them, 20 are from Liberia and Central African Republic.
The curriculum of their course includes fitness training, rigorous training in basic military subjects and outdoor training exercises. In line with the current security challenges, the cadets of the 61 regular course also underwent special training on counter-terrorism.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the event, the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, expressed hope that Nigeria would soon crush the Boko Haram insurgents.
Highlight of the parade was the replacement of the academy’s old regimental colours with new ones, and the presentation of same to the reviewing officer, as well as presentation of awards of merit to deserving cadets.