The Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, says Nigeria still needs the knowledge and extensive experience of retired military officers to address the security challenges facing the country.
This was stated by Mr. Matawalle at a dinner in honor of the Chief of the Defense Staff (CDS), Christopher Musa, organized by members of the Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA) 38 Regular Course Welfare Association on Saturday in Abuja.
He said the experience gained over the years as military officers would remain relevant even as they embarked on another phase of life.
He added that the nation needs them as professionals and experts to contribute their knowledge and experience when it comes to offering solutions to the countless challenges that afflict the country.
The former governor of Zamfara State said it is hoped that they will now have a special time to remember and present ideas to address the problems without any hindrance.
“I encourage you to, from time to time, critically brainstorm the challenges facing the country with a view to providing viable solutions.
“I want to assure you that the Ministry of Defense is always willing to receive you as a group of expert thinkers to discuss defense and security issues in our country.
“In view of the immense training and experience of these eminent gentlemen and highly exposed security professionals, we will ensure that their retirement is pleasant and will continue to consider their well-being as a priority at the Ministry of Defence,” he said.
The CDS, in its address, said that the event also signifies recognition of the collective achievements and sacrifice of the nation’s armed forces through the unwavering dedication of the brave men and women in uniform who were able to safeguard peace and unity of Nigeria.
He noted that his selfless courage and professionalism are the pillars on which the defense forces stand today.
The CDS said its training, intelligence sharing and military cooperation had played a key role in enhancing the capabilities of the Nigerian military and strengthening the nation’s defence.
“Our nation has faced several threats to security and stability, but through unity and perseverance we have prevailed.
“The commitment and dedication of our armed forces, together with the support of the Nigerian people, have been instrumental in ensuring that our nation remains strong and secure.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Nigerian people for their unwavering support and confidence in our armed forces.
“Their confidence in our abilities and their recognition of the services performed by our men and women in uniform are a constant source of inspiration,” he said.
The CDS said the 38RC Welfare Association effort had remained committed to the welfare of society, adding that such initiatives had remained vital in fostering a strong bond between the military and civilian communities.
Chairman of the RC38 Welfare Association, Solomon Uduonwa, said the event was organized to celebrate his career in the military, which began on September 21, 1986.
He described CDS as a consummate general who had filled all available command, training and staff positions and had continued to make the nation proud as a military leader.
“As part of our 37th anniversary, we gather tonight to honor one of our most outstanding generals from the 38th Regular Course, our own Chief of the Defense Staff, who was appointed on June 19 to serve the Armed Forces of our country as CDS. .
“General Musa is someone with whom we have come to share very strong ties of friendship over the last 37 years.
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“In our course, we recognized and recognize him as a forerunner and first among equals in the Nigerian Defense Academy.
“He dazzled many of us with his sporting abilities. He was a very prolific striker in football. He was also a basketball player. He played volleyball and someone said he also played hockey.
“Therefore, it is no surprise that you have been chosen by the President, Commander in Chief, to lead our armed forces at this most difficult time.
“We are here to celebrate a distinguished gentleman, someone who has achieved everything in the military but still has so much to offer Nigeria and our armed forces,” he said.
Uduonwa said the 38RC had lost 34 of its members who began the journey with them 37 years ago, the last being the former Director of Defense Media Operations, the late Bernard Onyeuko, a retired Major General, who passed away in August.