NDA HOLDS VALEDICTORY CHURCH SERVICE WALIMAH IN HONOUR OF POCs
The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) on 24th September, 2023, held an Interdenominational Church Service and a Walimah ceremony in honour of Passing Out Cadets (POCs) of 70 Regular Course(RC), Direct Short Service Courses (DSSC) 27 (Army) and 31 (Air Force) at the NDA, Afaka.
At the Walimah ceremony which was hosted at the NDA Central Mosque, Afaka, witnessed the Commandant NDA, Maj Gen JO Ochai who encouraged the POCs to hold on to their faith and practice what the faith teaches them as they embark on their journey into the Armed Forces. He further adviced the cadets to live within their means, not to discriminate, accept people based on their capacity and be exemplary leaders to the men and women they would command.
Also, offering her words of encouragement during the Walimah, Wife of the Commandant NDA and Coordinator NDAOWA, Mrs Ruth Ochai, disclosed that the backbone of every nation are the women. Therefore, She urged the graduating cadets not to compromise on their morals and values no matter the situation they find themselves, especially the female Officers. She also charged the male cadets to see female Officers and soldiers when posted to their units as their sisters and daughters, therefore they should treat them right and help them accomplish their goals. Mrs Ochai further expressed confidence that with the level of training, background and upbringing of the cadets, she is sure they will do amazingly well in the field.
During the Walimah, two lectures were presented by Guest Lecturers. The first, “Military Profession and the Emerging Challenges of a Military Officer” was presented by Brigadier General Sani Suleiman. The second, “Ideal Role of Women in the Armed Forces: Islamic Perspective” was presented by Group Captain SA Ali.
Similarly, during the Valedictory Interdenominational Church Service which held at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Afaka, the Chaplain (RC), Lt Col (Rev Fr) SM Udokang who delivered the sermon, took his reading from Luke 17:11-19 with the theme,” God, Help Me to See in Gratitude, What You Have Done”, impressed on the cadets that there are benefits attached to showing gratitude, just like the only leper in the reading who returned to show gratitude, and in turn was blessed by the Lord Jesus Christ. Rev Fr Udokang also adviced them not to forget those who have helped them when they had nothing, so that the prayers of these individuals could help them succeed.
Speaking further, Rev Fr Udokang further told the cadets that it was time to embrace God closely for the privilege he has given to them and not get carried away by the euphoria of the celebration.
The Chief Host at the Church Service, Commandant NDA, Maj Gen JO Ochai, who gave his address, encouraged the POCs to be like Saul in the Bible who became Paul on his way to Damascus to arrest christians, but was arrested by Christ and ended up preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He charged them to focus on the Cross, adding that it will lead them to succeed in whatever they do, that by the Cross they would conquer every situation. The Commandant also adviced the POCs to hold on to the prayers and heed to sermons by clergymen.
The Church Service and Walimah were part of events lined up ahead of the cadets Passing Out Parade and Commissioning Ceremonies on 30th September, 2023.