Maj Gen Olu Irefin (l) handing over the division’s flag to the new GOC, Maj Gen Godwin Umelo.

By Evelyn Usman

A new General Officer Commanding, GOC 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Godwin Umelo, officially resumed office yesterday, with a charge to all officers and soldiers of the command to be prepared to work harder.

Umelo, took over from Major General Olu Irefin, who was redeployed to 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, as the General Officer Commanding, in the recent shakeup.

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During the handing and taking over ceremony at the 81 Division headquarters, Victoria Island, Lagos, the GOC, sought the cooperation of officers and soldiers, noting that collectively, they would surmount the challenges ahead.

He said: “It’s a privilege and honour to be appointed as the GOC 81 Division. I am not unmindful of the challenges inherent in command responsibilities like this but I want to believe that with collective efforts, we should be able to surmount whatever challenges that come.

“I want to challenge everybody under my command to be ready to work. I am a workaholic and I would ensure that the standard does not go below what I have met on ground and I extend the hands of fellowship to everybody as we steer the ship of 81 Division to greater heights”, he said.

From l: Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji; Outgone GOC, Maj General Olu Irefin; his successor, Maj Gen Godwin Umelo and the Commander, Nigerian Army Education Corps, Maj Gen Muktar Muhammad Bunza, at the handover over ceremony.

Addressing troops afterward, at the Bonny Cantonment parade ground, he expressed satisfaction at the brief he got on their conduct, assuring them that he would strive to make available all they needed to function efficiently.

Earlier in his handover remark, his predecessor, Major General Irefin, expressed satisfaction at the successes recorded during his one year stay as the GOC, one of which he said was the plethora of structural development all over the Command’s Area of Responsibility, AOR.

He said: ” We had so much, especially the conduct of Operation Crocodile Smile 4, which combined all the services. It had tremendous successes as it curbed the activities of miscreants within AOR.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t carry out all the scheduled first quarter activities due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic”, Irefin stated.

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