NATIONAL INTEREST, NON-NEGOTIABLE – COAS Warns Graduating NDA Cadets
…As Mogadishu Bn Becomes Champion Battalion
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen TA Lagbaja, has cautioned Passing Out Cadets to shun any acts or activities that would challenge or stand against the Nigeria’s national interest.
Gen Lagbaja made this charge at the Capt Oliver Nzalgana Parade Ground of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Afaka, where he was the Special Guest of Honour during the Beating of The Retreat and Prize Giving Ceremony in honour of graduating cadets of 70 Regular Course (RC), Direct Short Service Courses (DSSC) 27 (Army) and 31 (Air Force).
Addressing the Passing Out Cadets, the COAS stated, “As soon-to-be commissioned officers and professionals in the Nigerian military, the sanctity of Nigeria’s national interest is paramount and non-negotiable”. He harped in the need for the cadets to be mindful and be guided by their constitutional duty of unflinching support for democratic institutions and complete subordination to constituted authority, as well as their core role of protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
While expressing delight at the level of performance displayed by the cadets during the occasion, Lt Gen Lagbaja expressed optimism and confidence in the quality of training received by the cadets at the Academy, noting that he had no doubt it has placed the cadets at a vantage position to surmount any challenges they may encounter in the field. On this note, he commended the Commandant NDA, Maj Gen JO Ochai, Instructors and the entire staff of NDA for putting in their best efforts to ensure that the cadets are well equipped with the necessary military skills.
Furthermore, in his remarks, Lt Gen Lagbaja cautioned the cadets not to throw caution to the wind as the few days leading up to their Passing Out and Commissioning into the Nigerian Armed Forces are very crucial. He urged them to be mindful as it is still possible to miss the Presidential Commission, reminding the cadets that the few remaining days are full of insurmountable obstacles and temptations.
Earlier in his Welcome Address, the Commandant NDA Maj Gen JO Ochai, while welcoming the COAS, expressed his profound appreciation to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen CG Musa, and all the Service Chiefs for their support, which made it possible to mould young Nigerians from different backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicity into one body committed to serve their fatherland with passion in the Nigerian military.
Major General Ochai revealed that the graduating cadets have received extensive and qualitative training which have made them unique. According to him, the cadets are airborne and amphibious qualified, and posses advanced shooting skills as well as additional skills the previous set of cadets were not privileged to acquire before graduating. He assured that the Academy will continue to maintain its standard of quality training to cadets.
Beating of the Retreat and Prize Giving Ceremony in the Nigerian Defence Academy is an event that signifies the official end of cadets training activities for the training session. It also provides an opportunity for Battalions and individual cadets who have performed excellently and distinguished themselves during the training year in sports, physical and military competitions to be rewarded.
At the end of today’s Beating of The Retreat, which brought to a close training activities in the 2022/2023 training season, Mogadishu Battalion emerged Champion Battalion, having won a significant number of the trophies across several competitions during the year under review. It is worthy to note that this will be the second year back to back that Mogadishu Battalion has won the Champion Battalion trophy. The award ceremony also offered laurels to individual cadets who performed excellently during competitions.
The event was graced by very senior military commanders, senior military and paramilitary officers, senior civilian staff of the Academy, members of the Nigerian Army Officers wives Association, (NAOWA), as well their counterparts in Nigerian Defence Academy Officers Wives Association (NDAOWA) and many other dignitaries.
The event also witnessed the presentation of souvenir, displays by various bands, the Beating of the Retreat, as played by the Mass Band, and the bonfire ceremony, which marked the end of the occasion.