.......Commissions Community Projects Built By NDA
Fifty years after their graduation from the Nigerian Defence Academy as the pioneer course, and their subsequent commissioning as subalterns into the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Navy, member of NDA Regular Course 1 have again converged on Ejoor Hall, NDA Old Site to mark their Golden Jubilee anniversary and reflect on how far the Nigerian Defence Academy has come since their graduation, as well as offer sound advice on how to move the Academy to higher heights.
Welcoming guests and his coursmates to the event, Chairman of Regular Course 1, Maj Gen Salihu Ibrahim (Rtd), disclosed that Regular Course 1 graduated from the Academy precisely on 18 March, 1967, noting that March this year clocks exactly 50 years since they were commissioned as officers into the Nigerian Armed Forces. General Salihu Ibrahim further highlighted the role members of the Regular Course 1 played in shaping the armed forces in Nigeria and the challenges they encountered while they were in service. He also enjoined the serving officers to serve the country with all their might and strength, urging them to keep the flag flying.
Chairman of Regular Course 1, Maj Gen S Ibrahim (Rtd), presenting his Welcome Address to guests to the occasion marking the 50th Anniversary of the commissioning of Regular Course 1.
In a Goodwill Message to members of Regular Course 1, The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General AO Olonisakin, who was represented at the occasion by Maj Gen AA Salihu, noted that the course is almost the age of Nigeria as an independent nation, recalling that providence played a role quite early in their career following the outbreak of civil war in Nigeria. He extolled the pioneering role members of the Course played in the development and the growth of the Nigerian Armed Forces, as well as other spheres of Nigerian national life. Gen Olonisakin commended the sacrifice members of Regular Course 1 have made towards the survival of Nigeria and the growth of the armed force. Describing them as trailblazers, the CDS disclosed that although the armed forces has grown tremendously in size since their time, yet the foundation of discipline and valour they laid havs continued to shape the Nigerian Armed Forces into one of the finest fighting forces on the continent.
Rep of Chief of Defence Staff, Maj Gen AA Salihu, presenting the Defence Chiefâ€™s message to the event.
Presenting the Lead Paper tilted, NDA: Past, Present and Future. Foundation for Innovative Security Praxis in Nigeria and Africa, Maj Gen Ishola Williams (Rtd), a member of Regular Course 1, took an incisive look at the term security and the role of government in providing security for the citizenry. He noted that the primary roles of government are to ensure that the citizens are free from fears of any sort, and to ensure steady development and growth. He disclosed that the rising trend of citizens all across the world taking responsibility for their security is as a result of the colossal fail of governments to carry out their chief duty of ensuring freedom from fear. He drew attention to some of the peculiarities of training in the NDA and made recommendations on how best training at the Academy could be improved in order to make graduates of the Academy better fitted to serve commanders in the field effectively.
The high point of the event was the commissioning of some community projects executed by the Nigerian Defence Academy for the people of Mando â€“ Afaka environs. The projects, which include the sinking of a borehole and provision of portable water, complete with storage tanks, for people of Mando Community, and construction of a block of classrooms for Government Secondary School, Sabon â€“ Afaka, was conceived and completed through the good will of the Commandant NDA, Major General MT Ibrahim.
Presenting the project to members to members of Regular Course 1 for commissioning, Major General Ibrahim stated that the projects were borne out of the need to impact positively on the lives of those living around the Nigerian Defence Academy, as well as improve civil â€“ military relations between the Academy and the surrounding communities. He revealed that the Academy undertook the construction of the block of classrooms in GSS Sabon-Afaka after a fire incident that completely destroyed the classrooms.
Commissioning the projects on behalf of his coursemates, the Chairman of Regular Course 1, Maj Gen S Ibrahim, commended the Nigerian Defence Academy for bringing relief to members of the community, noting that it will go a long way in ensuring a harmonious relationship between NDA and the communities surrounding it. He also called on the members of the Mando â€“ Afaka community to make judicious use of the facilities.
Maj Gen S Ibrahim, flanked by some members of Regular Course 1, Regular Course 2 and Comdt NDA, cutting the tape to commission a water project provided by NDA to the people of Mando
Maj Gen A Salihu (Rtd) taking a drink of water from one of the taps, after the commissioning of the water project.
Speaking on behalf of the Mando â€“ Afaka community, the Hakimin Afaka, Alh Aliyu Abdulwahab, expressed gratitude on behalf of the community to the Nigerian Defence Academy for the projects. He further revealed that these were not the first projects the Academy would be executing in his community, noting that the NDA had already provided them with drugs and foods, as well as provide healthcare, on a separate occasion and had made a pledge to do so on a quarterly basis. He therefore assured commandant of the full support of his community as the Academy goes about its mandate of training officers for the armed forces of Nigeria.
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Maj Gen A Salihu (Rtd) commissioning a block of classrooms built by NDA at GSS Sabon Afaka
The event which witnessed the presence of very prominent members of the Regular Course 1 such as former Chief of General Staff, Lt Gen Oladipo Diya (Rtd), former Chief of Defence Staff, Lt Gen Joshua Dogonyaro (Rtd), former Chief of Army Staff, Maj Gen Salihu Ibrahim (Rtd), former Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Allison â€“ Madueke (Rtd), Maj Gen Ishola Williams (Rtd) and others, also had in attendance members of NDA Course 2 and members of the subsequent courses.
NDA Regular Course 1, which comprised 62 army and naval cadets reported to the Nigerian Defence Academy on 20 January, 1964 and graduated from the Academy in March, 1967.
Members of Regular Course 1 during the Golden Jubilee celebrations at NDA marking their commissioning into the Nigerian Armed Forces