March 14, 2021

81 Div Nigerian Army gets new GOC


By Evelyn Usman

Major General Lawrence Fejokwu , officially took over from Major General Godwin Umelo, yesterday, as the General Officer Commanding 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, following the recent shake up in the Army.

In his remark during the Handing and Taking over ceremony  at the  81 Division’s headquarter, Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, the out gone GOC charged Commanders ,  Principal Staff Officers and other senior officers of the Division to remain loyal and committed to their constitutional mandate .

Noting that the country was going through trying times, he urged them to be  focused and not be distracted .

He further charged  the senior officers to accord his successor same cooperation given to him during his seven months and one week tour of duty as the GOC, expressing confidence in the latter’s  ability to surpass the  successes the division recorded during his tenure.

Reflecting on the period of his stay as GOC 81 Div, Maj. General Umelo  said the division  had its  ups an down,  but was able to surmount the challenges through what he described as the steadfastness and cooperation of senior officers.

He said, ” Today for me  is quite a memorable day, reflecting how we started exactly seven months and seven days before now, when I took over as he GOC on the 22 of July 2020.

It has been a rewarding and worthy experience . As a division , we had our high points and low points, but with God on our side we were able to overcome.

And whatever we did as a division could not have been possible without the steadfastness and cooperation of the senior officers.

” I want to thank all of you for rallying round me during our trying times and making the division what is is today.

It is always said that for everything there is a season. A time to come and a time to go. Now is the time for me to go out of 81 Division.  I am so happy that the man that is taking over from m is somebody I have known too well, right from his training days at  the NDA, up till this moment. So, I have no doubt that he is going to fit into the shoe  quit easily and seamlessly.

” Every commander  has his own style but the end state remains the same. There are no two Commanders that are the same but what is required is achieving the same goal.

I therefore want to urge you all to extend same cooperation you gave to me during my  tour of duty as GOC.  I am confident that he is going to surpass whatever modest achievement we have been able to achieve during our tour of duty on the division.

” The country today is going through trying times, you must remain local , dedicate and professional to the core.

We are soldiers and soldiers we must remain. We are not politicians or businessmen. We are nothing else than soldiers and in our code of conduct, it is quite clear. So I want to urge you to remain focused, don’t be distracted by anything and above all, you must be loyal to constituted authority.

Give him all the support he needs to succeed. His success is your success and the success of the whole Army and to the Nigeria society”, he said.

In his response, the new GOC, Maj. General Fejokwu, promised to work to achieve  the Vision of the Chief of Army Staff, whom he appreciated for considering him qualified to be among one of the GOCs.

He said  that with the support of the senior officers the work ahead of him would be light, noting that ” it will be based   on our constructive  approach  towards achieving our goal. The mission statement of the COAS is  clear and by extension we are just to  work  and fit into achieving  that vision”.