Former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Martin Agwai

Former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Martin Luther Agwai bows out of the Military at the Mogadishu barracks in Abuja yesterday

The Former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Martin Agwai on Friday in Abuja, bowed out of the military in a colourful pulling-out parade at the Mogadishu cantonment in the Federal Capital Territory.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the former defence boss retired after 37 years in the armed forces.

Speaking on the occasion, Agwai expressed gratitude to God, his superiors and subordinates for their support throughout his career.

“It is impossible for me to claim any unique achievement without acknowledging the support of all those around me.

“My seniors, my mates and my subordinates’ support was wonderful and at times overwhelming. Their support enabled me to get every one involved in major decisions.

“This was a way of ensuring that an issue was borne by all and not ascribed to an individual.

Additionally, it ensured continuity to our major policies and activities, he said.”

Agwai stressed the need for authorities to always enter into dialogue with stakeholders for collective decision-taking on specific tasks.

“I believe in dialogue with major stakeholders for collective decisions on tasks that have huge bearing on our military and sometimes our nation.

“A leader should not be afraid to dialogue and they should not dialogue out of fear,” he said.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Defence, retired Maj-Gen Abbe said the magnificent parade accorded Agwai was “an indication that the nation is happy”.

Abbe said the country was proud to produce a fine officer and a gentleman in person of Agwai, who gave a good account of himself.

“I am expressing the Commander-in Chief’s pleasure, President Umaru Yar’ Adua for the service he had rendered to his country and beyond and that is what an officer should be.

“To those coming up, they should emulate the leadership quality of Gen. Agwai and make sure that they measure up what assignment they are given. They should give a good account of themselves.