'There Shall Be Zero Tolerance For Breach of Trust' - Army Chief Tells 47 Newly Decorated Major Generals, Charges them on Loyalty to Democracy

Promotion comes from God and its works through men. Attaining the peak of army rank as Major General in the Nigerian Army is a significant milestone in life. It signifies their hard work, and a leader within the greater profession. They have been found worthy in character, professionalism, military knowledge and loyalties, this, recommended by the promotion board.  

47 senior officers of the Nigerian Army have joined policy formulating team and key contributors to the system. 

The investiture ceremony held today, Thursday, 28 December 2023, at the Army Officers Mess Asokoro, Abuja, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, decorated the Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, and 46 other newly promoted officers with the prestigious rank of Major General. 

The ceremony which was attended by top Government officials like the Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu ONSA, Minister of Defence Staff, Chairman Senate Committee on Army, some members of the National Assembly, CDS, former Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, IGP, senior officers, family members, and well-wishers, marked the culmination of the officers’ dedicated service and commitment to the Nigerian Army. 

In his remarks,  the Minister of State for Defence, Dr Muhammad Bello Matawalle, congratulated the newly decorated Major Generals, urging them to continue leading by example and inspiring others to better their footsteps.

Matawalle who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event said the Nigerian Army needs more leaders like them “who are willing to put their lives on the line for the sake of our nation.”

“This promotion is a beacon of hope to all Nigerians and a call to elevate your efforts in the fight against insecurity especially in the North West and other parts of the Country.

“Your promotion is a testament to your many years of hard work, dedication, and commitment to serving our great nation. As a Nigerian, I know firsthand the sacrifices that come with attaining this height. It takes a lot of courage, discipline, and resilience to rise through the ranks.

“I am also aware of the rigorous process of selecting those being honoured here today and I am bold to say you are all indeed one of our finest breed and the Nation is proud of you. 

“You have all shown exceptional leadership skills, strategic thinking and a deep understanding in the course of your careers. Your contributions to the Nigerian Army are invaluable, and we are confident that you will continue to serve our nation with honour and distinction.”he said

In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff,  COAS,  Lt General Taoreed Lagbaja acknowledged the sacrifices made by the families of the promoted senior officers, emphasizing the integral role of spouses and children in supporting military personnel during their career ascent. He highlighted the blend of divine intervention and personal effort in achieving such an esteemed rank, stressing the importance of character, learning, conduct, and duty. 

The COAS stressed the significance of the newly acquired rank, urging the officers to recognize that their journey had just begun. “What you do with the rank and the responsibilities that come with it counts tremendously,” he asserted, cautioning against any breach of trust and emphasizing the current zero-tolerance policy for incompetence within the military. 

The COAS emphasized their new role as part of the policy-formulating team and key contributors to the system. He reminded them that criticism should be constructive, and their loyalty to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the leadership of the Nigerian Army should be unwavering. 

“You are now on the policy formulating team, and the system frowns at incompetence these days. This is the peak of your career, and there shall be zero tolerance for breach of trust,” COAS Lagbaja remarked. 

He challenged the senior officers to delve into understanding the intricacies of the Nigerian Army, the armed forces of Nigeria, and the country’s political, diplomatic, and economic dynamics. 

He encouraged logical and objective contributions to the system, highlighting the different skill set required at this stage of their careers". As the officers prepare to assume various roles, including General Officer Commanding, principal staff officers, commanders, and potentially Chief of Army Staff or Chief of Defence Staff, COAS Lagbaja urged them to exhibit loyalty and dedication to their constitutional responsibilities."

In his opening remarks, the Chief of Administration (Army) Major General Jimmy Akpor said, the newly decorated senior officers  were found worthy in character, professionalism, military knowledge and loyalties, and recommended by the promotion board. 

Maj. General Akpor noted that 47 Brigadier Generals were promoted to the rank of Major General, while 75 Colonels have also been elevated to the rank of Brigadier General accordingly and the newly promoted Brigadier Generals will be decorated at their respective commands, units and locations. 

One of the newly decorated senior officers, Maj. Gen GTO Ajetomobi gives vote of thanks on behalf of other newly decorated Senior officers

He said they were highly motivated with their new rank. He assured of their loyalty and dedication to duty in line with the COAS command philosophy.

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