Chaplaincy laments lack of personnel in Army units



The Director, Nigerian Army Chaplaincy (Roman Catholic) and Coordinator of the Armed Forces Pastoral Activities, Colonel Very Rev Father Charles Iroegbu has bemoaned lack of personnel in the army chaplaincy units.

At the passing out parade of (NACTS) students of the Nigerian Army chaplaincy in Ojo Military Cantonment, Iroegbu noted that the trend has adversely affected the army over the years.

“We are expected to have 170 chaplain to serve all the formation units in the Nigerian Army, but so far what we have now is 39 priests with three officers who are not priests, which makes it a total of 42.

“The Chief of Army Staff, in his benevolence has given us the privilege to work with some of our civilian priests that are not yet commissioned into the army. He gives them the permission to live in the barracks to administer sacraments to our members there. In this process, some of them get commissioned. The military is the only one given the privilege of having civilian priests live amongst us in the barracks.

“ The Chief of Army staff has also promised that more chaplains will be commissioned in the army because of the insurgency in the Northeast, militancy in the Niger-delta and the on-going operations in Sudan in due course. Most of our priests in the army are being sent where the soldiers are. Due to this, we are short of priests in the Army.”

The Commandant, (NACTS) Very Rev Father Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Agbedo, said for the past three months, the students have busied themselves with academic rigour. “However, as the saying goes, whatever has a beginning must have an end. Therefore, the journey, which these students began months ago, has come to an end,” he said.

He explained that a total number of 40 students were drawn from various units in the Army on January 6, 2016 for the programme and has so far completed their programme. He expressed gratitude and appreciation to the director for his moral and financial support, as his support has helped in the areas of renovations and equipping of students’ hostels, installation of DSTV system and universal Internet services, as well as the reconstruction of the school’s entrance gate.

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