The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouq Yahaya, had kept the established tradition of holding festive events with troops on the front line when he hosted injured troops and widows of fallen heroes to a Christmas luncheon on Saturday, Dec. 25, 2021.
The army chief had also introduced a new dimension to the front line celebration when he invited his colleague the Chief of Air Force to the event in a manner that underscored the new spirit of collaboration in the theater of war.
The luncheon also had widows of the soldiers who paid the supreme price while defending the nation in attendance.
Some six officers and soldiers who performed exceptionally on the battlefield were also recognized. The 6 personnel includes a Lieutenant Colonel, a captain, a Caporal, a Launce Caporal and two private solders.
“The Christmas celebration provides unique and solemn opportunity to appreciate the sacrifices loyalty and camaraderie of our troops of Operation Hadin Kai and other operations the Nigerian Army is engaged in across the the country, ” the COAS said.
“I must commend you for the remarkable successes recorded, especially in recent time.”
“There are fallen heroes that paid the supreme price in defence of their beloved country. May God grant their souls eternal peace and comfort to their family “, he added.
“I want to use this opportunity to inform you that the Commander in Chief has remain committed to enhancing the capacity of the Armed forces of Nigeria through provision of modern arms vehicles and equipment to ensure that this war is brought to a logical conclusion.”
The Theater Commander, Northeast Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Christopher Musa who hosted the event, appreciate the Chief of Army Staff, and Chief of the Air Staff, Air marshal Isiaka Amao for their visits to the theater.
“We are blessed whenever they visit, because their visits have made a great impact in this operation. We look forward for more of such visits, as such visits comes with much benefits to the theater in terms of equipment support, strategic guidance and enhanced moral”.
“The COAS visit on the 9th August, 2021 to Flagg off welfare flight for the personal of the Operation Hadin Kai remains indelible in our minds,. This initiatives among other welfare packages for the personal of Operation Hadin Kai has ease challenges confronting troops proceeding on pass. The frequency of these visits to this theater despite your busy schedules underscores the prominence the service Chiefs attached to this Operation,”, General Musa added.
Borno state government speaks
Governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum, who normally attend the event personally was this year represented by his deputy, Umar Kadafur, who, in his speech, gave assurances of sustained support for the military in the war against insurgency and “restoration of sustainable peace”.
“I am happy with the kind of synergy now displayed among the armed forces as indicated by the presence of the both Chief of Army staff, Lt General Faruq Yahaya and Chief of the Air staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Amao in this occasion”.
The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal, Isiaka Amao, had in a brief speech said the air force would the “continued support to the ground troops of the Operation Hadin Kai to end the decade long insurgency in the Northeast”.
The CAS also disclosed that “the Nigerian Air Force has procured and deployed more aircraft to effectively tackle the Boko Haram terrorism”. He thereby implored all troops to key into the spirit of synergy amongst the Armed forces and other security outfits in order to finish up counterinsurgency operations in the northeast and other insurrections in other parts of the country.
Highlight of the luncheon was a treat to various forms of musical entertainment and food eating, which climaxed with donations to the widows and the recuperating wounded soldiers.
The Borno state government made donated the sum of N5 million to the widows, while the Chief of the Air staff donated N3 million to them. Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), commander gave the widows additional N1 million, while COAS made specific N20,000 donation to each to the 91 wounded troops, and N30_000 each to the 50 widows at the event.