The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, says the peace the nation enjoys is paid for with the blood, limbs and sacrifice for family pleasure of military personnel.
Lagbaja said this on Thursday at the 2023 COAS Christmas Carol organised to give praise and thanks to God for the outgoing year, held at Mogadishu Cantonment Parade Ground in Abuja.
He said that military men and women always stay awake as guardians of the land so that people could sleep at night.
“For our warriors in the frontlines and their families back in our rear units, I must say I quite understand what you feel at this season because I have served in many of our theatres of operations and I have been away from my family and loved ones.
“In times like this, I understand the loneliness our military families endure and the homesickness our troops in the frontlines battle.
“It is part of the sacrifices we make for the love of our nation and humanity.
“I am proud to say that your bravery, service and dedication, serve as an example to many out of uniform and I convey the gratitude of our government and people to all you do,” he said.
Lagbaja said the Christmas carol was to sing praises to God, to read His words and unite in giving praise and thanks to Him for the outgoing year.
According to him, the season the Christmas season is unique in many ways because of what it symbolises.
“Christmas is about love, hope, giving and sharing, taking cognisance of the fact that the gift of Christ to the world is born out of God’s love for humanity.
“As military men and women, our life is one of sacrifice and duty.
“It is in the light of filling the gaps created by deployment away from loved ones that the Army Headquarters and other Services Headquarters organise events such as this Christmas Carol service and other social get together for us to create a sense of belonging for our military families at home and our troops in the frontlines,” he added.
The COAS urged troops in the frontlines to share joyful moments with their colleagues as they celebrate the season away from their loved ones.
He also urged all personnel to extend love by giving to the less privileged around them, and find solace in the camaraderie that bound them together as a formidable force against adversaries.
The army chief assured them that the entire nation stood behind them in the fight, and supporting them at every step to defeating the nation’s adversaries.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the carol involved singing praises and worship, conversational hymns by individual gospel artists and military mass choirs
In attendance were the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa and his wife, Mrs Oghogho Musa, a former COAS, retired Lt.-Gen. Jeremiah Useni, representatives of naval and air chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.
The wife of the army chief and President of Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association and members of NAOWA, as well the barracks community were also in attendance.
A popular gospel artist, Solomon Lange added colour to the event with power-packed praises and worship that charged the atmosphere. (NAN)