COAS Flag Off The 2023 CHAPLAIN SERVICES PROTESTANT PLATINUM ANNIVERSARY TRAINING
Written By Dedeigbo Ayodeji
Posted By Town Crier News Nigeria
Published By Fitness Network Communications
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. TA Lagbaja has flagged off the 2023 Chaplain Services Protestants Platinum Anniversary.
The event which was held at the All Saints’ Army Headquarters Cathedral, Abalti Barracks, Lagos, saw the COAS saying that the training is basically to provide a requisite and spiritual environment for military personnel and their families.
He commended the Directorate of Chaplaincy Protestant for its continued deliberate efforts towards the training and equipping of its personnel for professional efficiency.
Lagbaja added that, “It is evident that this platinum celebration offers a unique opportunity for the Directorate to take conscious and deliberate steps that will evoke monumental and institutional achievements for the barrack community.
I am equally glad to note that the crop of resource persons that have been mustered here can bring this to fruition.
“The place of training in institutions and establishments is not only germane but sacrosanct.
The Nigerian Army leverages on training and retraining for effective all round performance. Such platforms afford us the opportunity to review our past with a view to evaluating ourselves so as to make enlightened projections based on the lessons learnt from previous executions. It is likewise through the carefully mapped out goals that we keep abreast with our challenges and subdue them.
“The prompt approval of your training week is not only an evidence of the high premium the NA places on training, but also a pointer to the resultant indices that should accrue for the troops. As a Nation, we have weathered the myriads of vices that seemingly threatened our sovereignty like never before.
The terrors of banditry, farmer-herder conflicts, terrorism, kidnapping, cultism, secession agitations, gang wars, communal clashes, maritime piracy and the likes were faced and contended with by our gallant troop.
“While many soldiers remain separate from their families for long periods. Some become MIA while others pay the supreme sacrifice as KIA. Suffice to say that soldiering as a vocation, has become immensely relevant to our corporate existence as a Nation – despite the continued increase of threats upon the personnel.
“The continual decimation of the adversary by own forces has shown that the enemy – often untrained, cannot become as professional as the Nigerian Soldier.
The professional soldier can only remain professional when he is trained and retrained again and again.
This is why my vision is to “Transform the NA into a Well Trained Equipped and Highly Motivated Force towards achieving our Constitutional Responsibilities within a Joint Environment”.
This much needed transformation is already ongoing through various means of ensuring that the soldier remains well trained, equipped and highly motivated”.
He added that their role to the troop and their families as chaplains remains as fundamental as ever.
It takes professionalism to be responsible chaplains and professionalism is achieved and sustained by training.
“This may be the reason why this year’s training week has come at no better time than now with the theme: Strategic Repositioning of Chaplaincy Protestant Nigerian Army for Effective Ecclesiastical Responsibility.
At Seventy as a Directorate, you have indeed come a long way and must display a very high standard of effectiveness in your duties and responsibilities to the Barrack community.
You must deliberately fine-tune your professional acumen and spiritual effectiveness as chaplains.
This in turn is bound to contribute to the overall success of the NA.
“The NA owes the Nation optimum loyalty especially in the face of the present security distresses.
We however have the full assurances of Mr President as we continue to neutralize the security threats to the peace and tranquillity of our country. Consequently, I must respectfully acknowledge and appreciate Mr President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) for his undaunting support to enable us achieve our objectives.
I equally acknowledge the Honourable Minister of Defence and other ministers, the Chief of Defence Staff, my fellow Service Chiefs as well as the heads of other security agencies for their support to the NA.
“Attaining seventy is not only indicative of your roots in your founding fathers, but is instructive on your future.
You must chart a clearly defined course to justify your platinum status.
I expect you to use this platinum celebration to critically re-strategize in order to surmount your inherent challenges. It remains expedient that you rediscover your potentials and come up with action plans to achieve them”.
In the same vein, the Acting Chaplain Services Protestants, Nigeria Army, Lt Col TE Ogbonyomi appreciated the COAS for approving this year’s Platinum celebration and auspicious milestone.
Ogbonyomi said was with a great sense of nostalgia that this training week is being executed as part of our platinum celebration activities.
“The attainment of seventy years of existence as a chaplaincy has left us rather humbled than excited. A cursory look behind us not only leaves us amazed at how far God has brought us, but evokes a deep seated confidence that we have what it takes to build upon the foundational legacies laid down by our founding fathers. Even though the years seemed to come upon us suddenly, we are intentional in our quest to live up to the expectations bequeathed on us.
“The theme of this historic training week: Strategic Repositioning of Chaplaincy Protestant Nigerian Army for Effective Ecclesiastical Responsibility is indicative of the deliberate intention to connect our present with the past and the future. Suffice to state also that having just come on board as Acting Director on 18 August, this theme readily creates the enabling environment for our vision which is to have “A Godly, Spiritual, and Moral Protestant Chaplaincy Strategically Repositioned for Effective Ecclesiastical Responsibilities within a Joint Environment.
“Evidently, there may be no better time to reach back into our past to relish the ancient landmarks upon which our founding fathers built our foundations: These pillars are Godliness, Spirituality and Morality.
“The keywords – Godliness, Spirituality, and Morality, are all sacrosanct to the life of the chaplain. The Barrack Community needs such conscious and strategic expressions at no better time than this as we seek to consolidate our national outlook.
This is also in line with the COAS vision which is “‘To Transform Nigerian Army Into A Well-Trained, Equipped and Highly Motivated Force Towards Achieving Our Constitutional Responsibilities Within A Joint Environment’. A Godly, Spiritual and Moral Chaplaincy is bound to become strategically repositioned in such ways to enhance the transformation of the Nigerian Army into a better force.
“I therefore urge us all to prepare to engage our spirits, souls and bodies as we fellowship with God and ourselves through the carefully thought-out activities that are aimed at nourishing and improving us for the enlargement of our capacities as chaplain personnel in the Barracks. Our platinum attainment in all its significance must bring to bear the realities within the barrack church. Furthermore, it is within these realms that we must be poised to forge ahead and in forging ahead, we must ask ourselves: where are we? What have we achieved? What can we further achieve? And finally how we can achieve it.
“This historic platinum celebration creates such an ambience that we may never be able to describe as a system.
Why? The description of things stands to be done better by those that have the first-hand information. For us as a chaplaincy, the custodians of these first-hand information are already off the stage of active service. Hence we find ourselves grappling with the realities of our very roots – seeking to preserve our heritage for the sake of posterity.
“This is why we have sought to consolidate our historic platinum attainment with some commemorative initiatives in order to further etch our mark into the sands of times”.