By Daniels Nwokike, The Sight News
Abuja-There are few countries with rich history and culture like the Nigerian Army (NA), in line with this, the 2017 Nigeria Army Day Celebration (NADCEL) has set out a photo/arts exhibition to showcase the rich history and journey of the Nigerian Army (NA) so far.
Going down memory lane, in 1863, Sir Globa transformed some Hausa slaves into a militia which later became the Lagos Constabulary saddled with military and policing responsibilities and the Lagos Constabulary was later incorporated into the West African frontier force in 1910 which later became the Lagos battalion and since then, the Army has continued its metamorphosis to what it is today.
The photo and arts exhibition which is the first of its kind by the Nigerian army is a show of the rigorous paths the NA has travelled till date as it captures the ultimate sacrifices which has been paid by some members of the NA, the various stages the Army has gone through in it’s metamorphosis and also the parts it has played so far in maintaining Peace and Security across the Nation.
In her keynote address, the special guest of honor to the celebration, the Head of Service (HOS) of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, said that History should not only be preserved but should be done accurately too to avoid feeding the coming generation half baked truth.
She further commended the NA for dimming it fit to preserve and document its journeys so far which is evidenced in the photo and art exhibition for the coming generations to know the true nature of the events that took place before they were born.
Also speaking, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt Gen. T.Y Buratai noted that while the NA personnel continue to fight to maintain Nigeria’s Unity, defend her territorial integrity and operate to maintain law and order in support of the civil authority, the Army has not lost her artistic side in Soldiering.
The COAS while reeling out the achievements of the NA over the years, stated that the arts exhibition will summarize the successes and cost of NA’s involvement in counter insurgency operations. “Documented histories acts as a bridge between the past and the present for effective future planning”, he stated.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chief of Civil Military Affairs (CCMA)(Army), Nuhu Angbago said that the photo and art gallery session of the 2017 NADCEL is a walk through history. “With this photo and arts exhibition, we will be able to afford the privilege of reliving the history of the Nigeria Army from inception till date”, he opined.
A tour of the facility by The Sight News reporter at the Army Resource Center in Abuja proved to be worth the time as there were lots of raw data, art works and pictures depicting the events of past years.
Some of these numerous data include the first five Nigerians to be commissioned into the Nigerian army with their registration numbers: Lieutenant Wu Bassey (N/1), Lieutenant J.T.U Aguiyi Ironsi (N/2), Lieutenant S.A Ademulegun (N/3), Lieutenant R.A Shodeinde (N/4), and Lt Z Maimalari (N/5).
Lt L.U Ugboma was the first Nigerian in the whole of West Africa to be commissioned into the British army as a short service officer in 1948.