From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen Farouk Yahaya said on Monday that one of his visions for the Nigerian Army is to return soldiers to the path of professionalism so that they can do their jobs without hindrance.
The COAS made this known in his address at the opening of the six-day Regimental Sergeant Majors (RSMs) Convention for 2021, with the theme “Professionalism in a Regimented Environment: The RSM Perspective”, which was organised by the Army Headquarters Department of Administration, being hosted by the headquarters of the 2 Division of Nigerian Army, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
Dignitaries in attendance at the ceremony included Chief of Staff to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State Segun Ogunwuyi, who represented the state governor, and former military governor of Lagos State, Gen Raji Rasaki (retd), as well as the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Gold Chibuisi.
Gen Yahaya, who was a special guest of honour at the opening ceremony which held Monday afternoon, explained that he attaches great importance to RSMs in the Nigerian Army, which led to his personally attending the ceremony, having been in Zamfara State and Kaduna earlier in the day.
According to him, ‘I have special regards for the RSMs of the Nigerian Army, down to Senior Non-Commission Officers (SNCOs) and NCOs, as well as average soldiers. Among the things I want to achieve is that I want to return the Nigerian Army soldiers to their professional place, such that they can do their jobs without hindrance. And I want to see NCOs and Senior NCOs do their jobs the way they should be done. I want to see the RSMs that I met when I passed out of the academy.’
In an interview with reporters after the opening ceremony, Gen Yahaya spoke of RSMs as a ‘very essential link between the officers and soldiers. Indeed, they are the custodians of the Nigerian Army customs and ethics. In every unit, they are considered as fathers of that unit, who keep history, tradition and customs of the unit. If there is an issue to be cleared, they will give results and when they speak, their views are respected.
‘Based on the importance I attached to them, I have to be here personally to attend their opening ceremony. I have spoken to them and I have encouraged them to restore the exact position of RSM to ensure Nigeria Army tradition.
‘This is very important because it is the process of professionalism of Nigerian Army. When I said professionalism, I mean the entirety of doing our job in accordance with our training, tradition, customs and teachings, which will enhance our effectiveness,’ the COAS stated.