The new Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru, a major general, has taken over the mantle of leadership of the Nigerian Army in an elaborate handing over ceremony by his predecessor, Tukur Buratai, on Thursday in Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Tuesday, announced the appointment of Attahiru alongside other service chiefs.
In line with the Nigerian Army tradition, the outgone army chief decorated his successor with the insignia of the office and handed the flag of office to him.
The pulling out parade for Buratai, a lieutenant general, will take place on Friday.
Buratai, while handing over the mantle of leadership, thanked God for a successful service to the nation and Buhari for finding him worthy.
He urged the new army chief to ensure that the Nigerian Army remains professionally responsive in the discharge of its constitutional duties.
Buratai said the army under his watch had ensured that democracy was supported and protected, urging his successor to ensure that the army continued to be loyal and professional.
He also urged Attahiru to remember him for improved professionalism of the Nigerian Army, improved responsiveness of the army in the area training administration and logistics needs of the army and responsiveness to Nigeria’s democratic imperativeness.
“I am proud to say that Nigerian Army has transformed to become a professionally responsive in the defence of democracy with utmost loyalty.
“Today, we have a professionally responsive army and we have achieved a lot in many areas over the years as well as interagency cooperation,” he said.
He commended the principal staff officers, corps commanders, commandant and directors for their cooperation during his time as the army chief.
He also appreciated all the troops serving in all operations both home and abroad, especially the operation Lafiya Dole, Sahel Sanity, and Delta Safe, among others.
Buratai said as a COAS, he was proud to have defended the nation’s democracy and called on officers and men of the Nigerian Army to make it their duty to defend and protect democracy.
Responding, the new COAS pledged to sustain the giant stride of Nigerian Army under Buratai, adding that he considered himself lucky to have been given the opportunity to succeed the outgone general.
Earlier, the Chief of Policy and Plans, Lamidi Adeosun, a lieutenant general, said the former CoAS came, saw and conquered, adding that working with Buratai was a rewarding experience.
Adeosun, while extolling the virtues of Buratai, said he had achieved so much for Nigerian Army in terms of operational efficiency, personnel welfare and establishment of new units and formations.
He said the army under Buratai had also progressed well in the area of research and development, especially in the area of manufacturing of hardware locally.
He expressed the confidence that the new army chief had what it would take to carry on with the big show left by his predecessor.
Adeosun commended Buhari for appointing a worthy successor in the person of Attahiru and congratulated Buratai on successful bowing out of service after years of meritorious service to the nation.