Three hundred and seventy three cadets graduated from the Direct Short Service Course 25 at the Nigerian Army School of Infantry in Jaji, near Kaduna on Saturday.
The Minister of Defence, retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, who supervised the passing out parade, charged the cadets to be loyal to the country and the military authorities.
Magashi, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, said that loyalty of the officers would help in the fight against criminality and banditry in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the cadets, comprising serving and non-serving personnel, graduated in different fields in an intensive training that lasted for six months.
The new officers were conferred with ranks of lieutenant by the CDS.
Magashi also charged the officers to brace up for service to their fatherland, advising them to be ready at all times to contribute their quota to the defence of the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
He also charged them to demonstrate discipline and shun every form of misconduct in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.
“As professional officers of the Nigerian Army, each and every one of you has roles to play, based on your expertise and previous experiences in curtailing the country’s security challenges.
“As junior leaders, you will be confronted with various challenges. The Nigerian Army expects you to add value to the system by being innovative and providing objective leadership to the men that will be placed under your watch.
“I wish to make it clear to the passing-out cadets that the Nigerian Armed Forces have zero tolerance for indiscipline and unprofessional conduct.
“You are expected to exhibit complete and absolute loyalty to the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Nigeria as provided in the constitution and the oath of allegiance which will be administered to you.
“You are also expected to be guided by existing regulations in your personal and professional conducts.
“I need to advise you that any act of disloyalty, disobedience to constituted authority, insubordination and other unprofessional conduct will attract appropriate sanctions.”
Magashi also admonished the newly-commissioned officers to understand and abide by the extant condition of service of the armed forces, assuring them that they would be exposed to further training.
He said that the entry of the new officers into the armed forces was significant, considering the security challenges the country was facing.
According to him, the cadets are entering into the army at a period when Nigeria is consolidating on the gains of years of confronting various security challenges.
“The Nigerian Army, in conjunction with the other services and other security agencies, has been engaged in intensive combat against terrorist groups, especially in the North-East.
“We are involved in various operations in various parts of the country, especially the North-West, North-Central and the South West geo-political zone.”
Magashi commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continuous support to the armed forces, stating that the successes of the military in various operations would not have been possible without the unrelenting support of the president.
He also commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, for his resilience, dedication and doggedness in providing leadership to the Nigerian Army.
According to him, the Nigerian Army has demonstrated outstanding professionalism in all its operations and in improving the welfare of officers and men. (NAN)