A former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lieutenant General Onyeabo Azubike Ihejirika (rtd) has charged graduating cadets of the 68 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) to ensure they reciprocate government’s huge investment in their training by offering selfless service to the nation upon their graduation and commissioning into the Nigerian armed forces.
General Ihejirika who was the special guest of honour at the Academy Awards and Beating of the Retreat ceremony which held at the NDA Parade Ground, Afaka, reminded the graduating cadets that a lot of resources had gone into shaping their character development and providing them with quality military training and a sound academic foundation.
He therefore called on the cadets to always put the country first before personal considerations.
“In discharging your duties after your commissioning, always place the country first above all other interests. Always uphold your constitutional roles and subordination to civil authority”.
He further admonished the cadets not to lose focus but to be on their guard before their Passing out Parade on 9th October 2021. “The road to your commissioning is still narrow and the journey is far. With discipline, however, you will get there; just remain level-headed and focused,” he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the Commandant NDA, Major General Ibrahim Manu Yusuf, noted that General Ihejirika was a quintessential Officer who recorded several remarkable achievements, including the expansion of the Nigerian Army through massive recruitment and training, the establishment of 7 Division, as well as the procurement of military equipment, among many others.
The Commandant reminded the cadets that the Academy Awards and Beating of the Retreat ceremony, apart from marking the end of training activities for the year, provides a platform for rewarding hard work and outstanding performance in military training and sporting activities, both by individual cadets and cadets’ battalions.
He said, the cadets of 68 Regular Course commenced their training at the Nigerian Defence Academy on 3 September 2016, and that the Beating of the Retreat event brings to culmination 5 years of rigorous military and academic training, and character development, at the Academy.