The Nigerian Army is set to celebrate its 159 years of existence at the Nigerian Army Day celebration NADCEL 2022 in Owerri, Imo state.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.- Gen Faruk Yahaya disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja at a news conference to mark the commencement of the NADCEL 2022.
He said the week-long event would also offer the Nigerian army an opportunity to take stock, assess its performance, interface with the public, and set goals for the succeeding year.
Yahaya, who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans (Army), Maj.-Gen. Anthony Omozoje, said the theme for this year’s celebration is “Repositioning the NA in the Joint Operations Environment: A Panacea for Success in Addressing Contemporary Security Challenges”.
He said: “The celebration is scheduled to hold from 1 – 6 July 2022 and it is intended to celebrate the Nigerian Army’s achievements and also showcase the Army’s operational activities, as well as its transformational strides in innovation, development, civil-military coorperation research and and technological advancement.
“The celebration is also aimed at projecting the Army as an development instrument of national unity, integration and as well highlighting the achievements, as capabilities and positive corporate image and reputation of the Nigerian Army.”
He said the Nigerian army, saddled with the constitutional mandate of defending the territorial integrity of the nation had a rich history dating back to 1863, when Lt. Glover of the Royal Navy organised 18 indigenes of Northern Nigeria into a local force known as the “Glover Hausas”.
The COAS said the local force went through several stages of metamorphosis and eventually became part of a larger military body established by Lord Fredrick Lugard in 1900 known as the West African Frontier Force (WAFF).
According to him, the force went through several transformational stages with consequent changes in nomenclature namely the Nigerian Regiment, Queen’s Own Nigerian Regiment, and Nigerian Military Force, before adopting its current name, the Nigerian army.
“NADCEL as you are quite aware is an annual event of the Nigerian army, held on every July 6, to commemorate the day the unfortunate Nigerian Civil War broke out, when the very first shot that commenced the war was fired at Garkem in the present day Cross River State.
“It is worthy of note that the first NADCEL was celebrated in Lagos in 1978.This year’s celebration marks the 159th year of Nigerian Army’s existence since its formation,” he said.