By Musa Umar Bologi
Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, yesterday decorated the 45 newly promoted army officers to the rank of Major Generals in Maiduguri, the epic centre of the battle against Boko Haram insurgency.
The new two-star generals were decorated assisted by their spouses and family members.
This is the first time such number of generals is being promoted at once and also decorated outside the Army Headquarters.
The Nigerian Army council on November 20, 2017, announced the promotion of 45 Brigadier-General to the next rank, and 92 Colonels to Brigadiers-general.
The newly promoted majors-general dressed in desert camouflage in line with the terrain of the North-east.
Two of the newly promoted officers were not present at the decoration: the Commander Guards Brigade, Brig.-Gen. MS Yusuf and late Brig.-Gen. BA Raji, former Brigade Commander, 21 Brigade, who was promoted postmortem.
In his remarks, Chief of Army Staff told the newly promoted senior officers that they are key players of his vision that would make Nigerian Army the envy of other countries army.
He described insurgency as “a difficult war that requires all hands on deck to defeat it.”
He said the army had done its best professionally to degrade Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east, “what remain now is the political class and intelligence community to take over at this point.”
“The Nigeria Police must be on ground in all liberated communities,” he said.
The COAS charged the new majors-general to put the final defeat of the terrorists and the stabilisation efforts in conjunction with other security agencies in the uppermost of their minds.
He also urged them to ensure stoppage of propaganda by the terrorists group, as they rededicate themselves to service of the country.
“You must be more dedicated, focused and loyal because the next leadership of the army will lay on you individually and collectively. Loyalty is key to every military officer and soldier. We must remain loyal and dedicated in order to continue to get all the support from the government and people of Nigeria.
“Though the North-east is stabilised, we still have a lot to do to ensure total defeat of Boko Haram terrorists.”
Earlier, Governor of Borno state, Kashim Shetima, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, urged the newly decorated senior officers to continue to dedicate themselves to service of the country.