Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Division Nigerian Army, Kaduna, has charged Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel to continue working along the trajectory of bringing the desired peace and stability to Nigeria.
Maj. Gen. Lagbaja gave the charge on Friday while speaking as a special guest of honor at the Base Socio-cultural Activities (BASA), held at the NAF Base in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)reports that BASA could be traced to pre independence West African Frontier Forces which, due to its diverse cultural inclinations of the West African soldiers, the colonial authorities introduced the West African Social Activities.
BASA is organised once yearly to grant the requests by soldiers to participate in their local cultural rituals.
“It had remained the avenue to showcase diverse cultures of the base communities across the country and to appreciate hard work and gallantry of individual soldiers during the year.
Lagbaja also said that the BASA was organized for personnel that worked within and outside the base with their families to unwind, eat and socialise in an informal setting.
He added that it was a befitting ending to operational and administrative activities of the formation.
While charging the NAF personnel on dedication, resilience and hard work, the GOC commended the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) for organising the occasion.
Also, the AOC ATC, AVM Nnamdi Ananaba, said officers and Air men/women of the Command and the service in general worked hard from beginning to the end of the year.
Ananabs said BASA was an avenue to promote civil military relationship with members of host communities.
He said that haven worked through out the year, it was important to organise the event for them to unwind.
Ananaba said the event was deliberately organised to recognise the cultural diversity of the country.
He noted that the event, which showcased the diverse cultures, was a unifying factor for the country.
“Soldiers came from different background, brought together and trained to work as one defenders of the nation.
“The BASA reminds them that they all come from diverse societies, and enable them to bond more and become more effective in the battlefield,” Ananaba said.
The AOC thanked the families of the soldiers, saying that “being a soldier is not easy, in the sense that they spend most of their time away from their families.
“If we don’t have dedicated family members, dedicated wives and disciplined children who take care of the home front for us, you can imagine how it will be for us in the battlefield.
“We will definitely not be focused, therefore we need to keep encouraging them to keep their good work for us,” he said.
Ananaba said it was an age-long event which was gradually relegated to the background due to intensity of military operations.
“This year our amiable Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, hinging on one of the key drivers of his vision which borders on bolstering morale by improving personnel welfare, felt the need for this epic bonding event to take place across all NAF Units.
“Accordingly, he directed conduct of the BASA for year 2022.
“The event is truly a testament of the CAS interest in further unifying officers, airmen/airwomen and their families and a way of boosting morale and further strengthening the bond that holds us together as one big, united air force family.
NAN reports that high point of the event was cultural dance by the three major tribes in Nigeria, and tug of war between civilians in the base and airmen/women.