Avoid risky Lifestyles, Gen Irabor tells Ex-Servicemen

Urges them to beware of subversive elements

Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has advised retired military personnel to avoid risky lifestyles and be wary of subversive elements in Nigeria who may want to use their military experience and expertise to advance their rebellious motives.

He spoke at the Passing Out Ceremony of the trainee course 01/22 Stream two of the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Oshodi, in Lagos

While reminding the 316 retiring servicemen that the Nigerian Armed Forces remained their primary constituency, the CDS said: “It is important at this point to let you know that the level of insecurity is high in our nation. So, as you retire into the larger society, please beware of subversive elements within your environment and do not associate with them in any form. Your loyalty to the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Federal Republic of Nigeria is non-negotiable.”

He explained that the trainee’s pre-retirement course was to re-orientate and position them for successful reintegration into civil life, as well as give them an opportunity to take full charge as planners and executors of their personal daily activities.

But he was quick to add that: “This may sound exciting and promising but beware; you need to properly manage your freedom and make good use of your resources in order to be successful. “Society will expect a high moral standard and discipline from you. You will also have to prove in your relationships that you passed through a highly disciplined system.

I must inform you all that so many challenges are associated with post-service life. Some of the challenges you will face include how you manage your resources, especially your retirement benefits, influence from members of your family and friends, management of your physical and mental health, as well as integrating with the civil society.

Therefore, I urge you to be proactive in your conduct to avoid or overcome these challenges. It is also risky for you to embark on a new lifestyle that is above your means, or engage in non-lucrative ventures; neither should you abstain from physical exercises.

“I am sure that your training has exposed you to several vocational opportunities, entrepreneurship procedures and general managerial skills to alleviate the above-mentioned pitfalls in order to have a stress-free and meaningful life in retirement.

In this wise, I urge you to employ the various knowledge and skills you have acquired while undergoing Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre training for peaceful and productive economic life as you reintegrate into the Nigerian civil society. I encourage you to justify the magnanimity of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, who has continued to support the Armed Forces, most especially, the retiring members of the Armed Forces as seen in the enhanced welfare packages by maintaining your loyalty and dedication to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Earlier, the Commandant NAFRC, Air Vice-Marshal Idi Lubo, among others, said: ”To enhance the quality and content of our training, this Centre is presently in partnership with various organisations for the delivery of vocational and skills acquisition training. It is in this line that the Centre is currently making efforts to enter into partnership with the Songhai Centre in the Republic of Benin for delivery of lectures to the trainees and for the conduct of Train-The-Trainer courses for our instructors.”

He recalled how he assumed leadership of the Centre during the devastating period of the COVID-19 pandemic, when all the protocols to prevent the spread of the disease as stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, were vigorously implemented, thereby leading to the re-scheduling of the duration of the pre-retirement course from six months to three months.

He stated that with the recent review of the preventive measures, the CDS had approved the reversal to the initial six months duration for the course.

But the review, according to AVM Labo, “comes with its challenges of accommodation and provision of commensurate health care support for the increased number of trainees for the next course and beyond. In order to mitigate these potential challenges, “the CDS facilitated the reactivation of the construction of a 300 en-suite accommodation that was abandoned for over seven years due to some unresolved legal issues between the Centre and the project contractors. With the support of the CDS and the Service Chiefs, NAFRC and the contractor have entered into a new and amended Joint Venture Agreement to facilitate the completion of the project.”

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