The Former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Martin Agwai on Friday in Abuja, bowed out of the military in a colourful pulling-out parade at the Mogadishu cantonment in the Federal Capital Territory.
The former defence boss retired after 37 years in the armed forces.
Speaking on the occasion, Agwai expressed gratitude to God, his superiors and subordinates for their support throughout his career.
â€œIt is impossible for me to claim any unique achievement without acknowledging the support of all those around me. My seniors, my mates and my subordinatesâ€™ support was wonderful and at times overwhelming. Their support enabled me to get every one involved in major decisions. This was a way of ensuring that an issue was borne by all and not ascribed to an individual. Additionally, it ensured continuity to our major policies and activities, he said.â€
Agwai stressed the need for authorities to always enter into dialogue with stakeholders for collective decision-taking on specific tasks.
â€œI believe in dialogue with major stakeholders for collective decisions on tasks that have huge bearing on our military and sometimes our nation. A leader should not be afraid to dialogue and they should not dialogue out of fear,â€ he said.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Defence, retired Maj-Gen Abbe said the magnificent parade accorded Agwai was â€œan indication that the nation is happyâ€.
Abbe said the country was proud to produce a fine officer and a gentleman in person of Agwai, who gave a good account of himself.
â€œI am expressing the Commander-in Chiefâ€™s pleasure, President Umaru Yarâ€™ Adua for the service he had rendered to his country and beyond and that is what an officer should be. To those coming up, they should emulate the leadership quality of Gen. Agwai and make sure that they measure up what assignment they are given.
They should give a good account of themselves.
Agwai was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1972 and rose to the post of Chief of Army Staff.
He later rose to the post of Chief of Defence Staff and before his retirement from the military, was the Force Commander, UN Mission in Dafur.
The occasion was attended by a former Head of State, retired Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Governor of Gombe, Danjuma Goje, and Minister of Commerce Achike Udenwa.
Others are the Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Wole Oke, Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Paul Dike, Service Chiefs, past Chiefs of Defence Staff (CDS), Service Chiefs, traditional rulers and clergies.