By Captain Jauro Musa Liya (rtd)
The year 2020 Nigerian Army Day Celebration with the theme “NIGERIA’S TERRITORIAL DEFENCE AND SOVEREIGNTY: IMPERATIVE FOR NIGERIAN ARMY’S SUSTAINED TRAINING AND OPERATIONS” couldn’t have come at a better time then now. From Operations, training, welfare and sound administration to logistics, there’s no area that is left untouched or undeveloped by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusufu Buratai.
The equipment disposition and Order of Battle of the modern day Nigerian Army (NA) has been greatly modified with new formations, units and sub units including Forward Operating Bases and the noble introduction of special super camps across the various theaters of operations in the North East and North west.
The establishment of two additional Divisions, more Commands, many brigades, units, sub units and the upgrade, equipping and funding of various army training institutions are spectacular and unprecedented in the annals of Nigerian Army’s history.
The establishment of the NA Special Forces Command, Army Aviation Corps, NA Women Corps, NA University Biu, Army War College Abuja and the fastly growing Nigeria’s think thank – the NA Resource Centre Abuja – makes this year’s Army Day Celebration a remarkable one.
The NADCEL 2020 is one of the most organized, elaborate, generous and widely impactfull Army Day Celebration ever conducted in the history of the NA in terms of the large number of beneficiaries across the country.
Reportedly, NADCEL 2020 has the highest number of projects that were inaugurated in the various formations and units of NA as well as the various communities that benefited from the humanitarian activities across the 8 Divisions of the NA and the Geo-political zones of Nigeria.
There is indeed no Division that was left out in either commissioning of multiple projects such as construction or renovation of accommodation – residential or office complexes, schools, hospitals, various low and high intensity water projects and roads networks or in the area of Barracks Investment Initiatives like Cooperative Societies and establishment and equipping of skills acquisition centers intended to uplift the living standard of army personnel and their families.
It is important to note that this year’s celebration marks a milestone and sets new standard beyond what used to be. And this is coming at a critical time in our nation’s history when social life and the economy of the nation are facing a downturn due to the global COVID 19 pandemic ravaging the world.
Going into this year’s celebration is also the ability and capacity of the NA to keep COVID 19 disaster away from the barracks and thereby keeping its personnel safe. It is therefore important to note that the NA is one of the most leading organizations that is able to effectively stop or de-escalate the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic in her Barracks across the nation.
The Chief of Army staff is very modest about these achievements and the celebration reflects the mood of Nigeria in the face of the global economic and Covid 19 realities.
In his ingenious ways of doing things since he assumed command of the NA, Gen Buratai introduced Exercise SAHEL SANITY which is deliberately intended to checkmate the prevalent security challenges particularly in the North Western states of Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Sokoto. The Exercise comes in handy especially with the stategic decision to relocate NADCEL 2020 to the north west which is to send a strong message to bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers and other criminal elements in the areas.
Since the operation began, the activities of these hoodlums has been greatly reduced to the barest minimum.
Historically, NADCEL provides a platform for the NA to appraise, examine and thoroughly assess the achievements of NA in past year/s and provides an opportunity to think out of the box and make future plans.
To the naysayers, they will throw mud and smear every effort. In every set of disciples, a Judas is expected. While some have sponsored the likes of Lance Corporal Martins, others have invested heavily in launching propaganda apparatus against the noble course and modest achievements of the Nigerian Army. Such kinds of distractions is an act of sabotage and treachery against Nigeria in its drive to a unified, peaceful and secured nation.
The imperatives of this time demands a sober reflection of where we come from, how far we have come and where we are going.
For the able Chief of Army Staff and his gallant, tireless and selfless officers and men be assured that not every Nigerian is working against you. There are thousands that pray for you everyday as you go to battle. There are many that are with you in prayers and support as you celebrate this year’s successes/ achievements and in your unwavering efforts to deal with all forms of insecurity in Nigeria. Be much assured that very many people in our beloved nation are standing by you to do more for God and for country. Happy NADCEL 2020 Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, happy NADCEL to all our troops fighting terrorism and banditry in Nigeria and happy NADCEL 2020 to all our country men and women and a big Congratulations to Nigeria.