Buratai urges soldiers to sustain peace as army celebrate WASA in Lagos

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, (COAS), Lt.-Gen.Tukur Buratai, has urged army officers and men to remain committed in the discharge of their duties to ensure peace and stability in the country.

Buratai made the appeal at the 2017 West Africa Social Activities (WASA) celebration which ended on Saturday in Apapa, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WASA is an annual army event aimed at promoting team spirits and confidence within and outside the barracks.

It is also a forum for informal and social interaction and an avenue for the barrack community to showcase the rich and diverse cultures of the country.

Buratai, represented by Maj.-Gen. Babatunde Oyefolu, GOC 81 Division, said the Nigerian Army must remain focused, dedicated and resilient in order to consolidate the achievements recorded so far.

“As we commence another training circle, I urge you all to remain committed in the discharge of your collective responsibility of ensuring peace and stability across the country.

“You must remain focused, dedicated and resilient in order to consolidate on the achievements so far recorded.

“I also pay my tribute to our fallen heroes who paid the supreme price to keep the country safe,” he said.

The COAS noted that the 2016 training year saw the revival of army activities, hitherto, suspended, and urged the officers and men of the army to remain proactive in the discharge of their duties.

“Such activities include the Nigerian Army Sports Festival which was held last year after a seven-year break.

“We significantly and successfully curbed criminality and other nefarious activities.

“The climax of these exercises and operations was the ‘Operation Rescue Finale’ in the North East which led to the fall of the Sambisa forest and the capture of camp zero,’’ Buratai said.

He urged the army to remain proactive in the discharge of their duties and assured the officers and men that the government would continue to prioritise their welfare.

“We will provide decent accommodation and other social amenities to our personnel and ensure that our troops get adequate logistics in all operational areas in 2017,” Buratai said.

The COAS also commended the efforts of the Senate Committee on Defence for supporting the army in fulfilling its mandate.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chief of Account and Budget, (NAFC), Brig.-Gen. Jahadi Jakko, said WASA was customarily observed to mark the end of the training year and usher in a new year.

Jakko said that the Nigerian Army had successfully been operating under the Treasury Single Account to ensure transparency and accountability.

He commended the soldiers for their discipline and dedication during the year and called for peaceful coexistence.

NAN reports that the colourful event featured tug of war, dances by cultural groups as well as presentation of gifts and awards to distinguished soldiers and guests.

Top serving and retired military officers and captains of industry graced to the occasion.

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