BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI
ABUJA — Fourteen newly promoted Brigadiers General, among them, Brigadier General Mustapha Denis Onoiveta, former ADC to former President Umaru Yar’AQdua and one of the surviving officers of the ill-fated Donier 228 NAF aircraft that crashed in 2006, in Benue State killing 11 Generals, Brigadier General Nuhu Angbazo, were yesterday decorated with the rank of one-star Generals.
Speaking at the ceremony, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Azubuike Ihejirika, declared that he was happy to perform the decoration of the officers because he had no doubt in his mind that they would help move the Nigerian Army forward because of the capacity imbedded in them.
He, however, warned that their promotion should not be seen as the adding of more titles like that of the traditional institution to their name but one that should make them brace up to confront the current security challenges facing the nation.
He said: “Every leader, commander or administrator will consider a day like this his happiest moment, seeing loyal, hard-working and disciplined officers promoted to higher ranks. Though the selection process was tedious, painstaking and lengthy, it goes to show that hard work pays while the grace of God is also at play.”
“Two years ago, I warned promoted officers not to see promotion as chieftaincy titles. Promotion in the military is not just a reward but a demonstration of confidence on the part of the leadership that you still have much more to offer the force and the nation.”
To those who missed out of the promotions this year, the COAS said it was not the end of the road, adding that many were qualified but it was due to lack of vacancies that only 37 were promoted Brig-Generals.
He said other opportunities would come for them to be promoted as long as they remain hardworking and dedicated.
For the junior ranks he said, “Promotion is not meant for the senior officers alone. I am made to understand that by today, 2, 900 soldiers have been promoted and more soldiers will be promoted as soon as documentation are verified between now and next month.
“”10, 000 soldiers have also been recommended for promotion by their various Commanders and this will be looked into as a way of motivating hard working and highly trained personnel to continue to put in the utmost to service of their fatherland.’’