The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, has challenged the newly graduated officers of the Nigerian Army that much is expected from them in keeping the country together.
He stated this in his speech at the passing out ceremony of 259 cadets of the Direct Short Service Course from the Nigerian Army School of Infantry (NASI), Jaji, Kaduna State.
General Olonisakin said, “I wish to make it clear to the passing-out cadets that the Nigerian Armed Forces has zero-tolerance for indiscipline and unprofessional conduct.
“As junior leaders, you will be confronted with various challenges. The Nigerian Army expects you to add value to the system by being innovative and providing objective leadership to the men that will be placed under your watch.”
He added, “As professional officers who will shortly be commissioned into the Nigerian Army, each and every one of you has various roles to play based on your expertise and previous experiences, in curtailing our security challenges.”
The defence chief also asked the new officers to join the effort at tackling the rising security challenges posed by Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, as well as kidnapping, armed banditry and communal conflicts among others in parts of the country.
He reminded the graduating officers that they were joining the military at a time the Nigerian Armed Forces was consolidating its fight against all forms of security challenges in the country.
General Olonisakin said, “The training you have received in this institution, couple with further training you will subsequently receive in the course of your career in the Nigerian Army will be invaluable when applied with passion and commitment in your various assignments.
“You are expected to exhibit complete and absolute loyalty to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, as provided in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Oath of Allegiance which will be administered to you shortly.”
“You are also expected to be guided by existing regulations in your personal and professional conduct.
“I need to advise you that any act of disloyalty, disobedience to constituted authority, insubordination and other unprofessional conduct will attract appropriate sanctions,” he added.
The Nigerian Army School of Infantry has been a major facilitator and force multiplier in the fight against terrorism and other related crimes in the country, through effective training of security personnel, even from the Nigeria Police Force.
On the other hand, the security challenges in the country call for effective training and retraining of young military officers on contemporary counter-terrorism operations.
The graduating officers were trained on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations for onward deployment to the North-East and other troubled parts of the country.
They were trained in special warfare and counter-terrorism courses which lasted for six months and were also exposed to academic and field exercises such as tactical combat shooting.
Others are unarmed combat and water exercises, stop and search techniques on roadblocks and checkpoints, rescue missions, and identification of improvised explosive devices among others.
At the passing parade ceremony which marked the end of the training, the officers display a colourful march pass in both slow and quick time upon the arrival of the defence chief who doubled as the reviving officer for the parade.