Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
The Commanding Officer, 24 Support Engineers Regiment (SER), Nkwagu Military Cantonment, Ebonyi State, Col. Olakan Sadiq, has etched his name in gold.
For the first time in 41 years of the military cantonment, a magnificent building has been constructed to serve as headquarters annex for officers and men.
The annex, which boasts of three offices, will also serve as the regiment’s operations room.
General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Major General Lasisi Adegboye, who inaugurated the project recently, poured encomiums on Col. Sadiq, saying his leadership and ingenuity were legendary.
He urged other officers to emulate him, while stating that the Chief of Army Staff; Lt. General Tukur Buratai, would be very proud of him.
He said, “When good things are happening and I am part of it, I always feel very happy. Col. Sadiq has done something so nice and so extraordinary that it is good for emulation by the senior and junior alike.
“I always remind myself of what I would be remembered for when I am no longer in a place. Will it be of good or for bad? Will people say there goes a man that made his presence known to the community; that is good to emulate? It is not about what will you benefit when you are serving, but what are you leaving behind in his life?
“It is a remarkable day that Col. Sadiq has done something unbeatable in 24 Engineers Regiment. Many commanding officers have passed, and did their own bit, too, but what we have witnessed today is outstanding and I say congratulations.
“Let me also congratulate his wife, because it is often said that behind a successful man, there is a woman.
“It is often said that whatever you do today becomes history tomorrow; today will go down the lane of your service years, Col. Sadiq, that you have done this; and each time you remember this, I am sure you will feel happy.
“So, if by tomorrow you find yourself as a Brigade Command, you will remember what you have done and if any of them wants to ask you, where will I get money to do this and that, you will encourage them and tell them, look, it is not impossible just make sure you start.
“I want to thank Almighty God that you started this project and in your lifetime it is being commissioned and we also thank God for the gift of life and very good health.
“I am so happy today and likewise everybody that is seated here today. It is just the starting point and I am sure you have taken up a command like this before like the one you are just concluding and you have done this. I pray you get more opportunities so that you will be able to impact positively in the lives of those under you and in the service.
“This is plus one asset in the Nigerian Army today and, of course, the Chief of Army Staff will be very happy to see this.”
On the occasion, Col. Sadiq said the annex was the first new structure of great magnitude to be built in the cantonment since 1978.
He noted that the regiment embarked on the construction of the new annex to provide conducive environment for its men to plan and to receive briefs.
Sadiq said: “On resumption of duty at the regiment, I observed that the former operations room was quite small and not conducive for planning or conducting operations. At best, it could accommodate about seven people comfortably during a brief. Similarly, some officers did not have offices and had to use the conference room, which I found inconveniencing.
“Consequently, the regiment embarked on the construction of the annex, where it proposed that the operations room be moved to a more spacious area, which could accommodate more planners and recipients of briefs.”
He added that the annex could also be used for durbars and other activities as the regiment did not have any facility to accommodate larger number of personnel.