The Nigeria Army, under the auspices of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), on Tuesday, grieved as its Commander, Major General Tagbo Ude, handed over leadership of the command as a result of the compulsory retirement exercise of senior military officers carried out by the military high command recently.
The Headquarters of OPSH was unusually calm as soldiers and officers wore looks of sadness as the Commander made his way to the conference room where he handed over to Brig. Gen. Abdulsalam Ibrahim, as the acting Commander OPSH.
The sad looks on their faces, when Daily Times confirmed revealed that Gen. Ude can be best described as a true Nigeria soldier who is devoid of sentiment.
According to an officer who pleaded anonymity, said that “you can see we are not happy that such a fine officer is leaving us. His name should not be found on that long list of retired senior officers because he is an upright man. I think it is outright injustice for our commander to be retired just like that after all his effort to ensure that Plateau State enjoys relative peace today”, he said.
However, speaking during his hand over speech, Gen. Ude said he was happy that he discharged his duty with the fear of God, appealing to officers to continue in that direction.
His words: “I find it privilege to talk to you at this moment, after serving in the Army and I am appealing to you to put God first in discharging your duty because some day, we shall be accountable for everything we do. Make sure you take care of the soldiers under you, let them not see you as a bad officer.”
Ude is also quoted saying that, he has improved on what he met on ground when he came to Plateau, noting that the Nigeria Army was not being accepted in most part of the troubled areas of Plateau State. “But I thank God that today those areas that rejected the presence of the Nigeria Army to protect them are now calling for military post to be sighted in their area” he said.
He thanked officers and soldiers that worked under him for making sure that peace returned to Plateau because they are the once posted to the hinterlands where the heat of the crisis is rooted, charging them to pledge their loyalty to the new Acting Commander.
Responding, Colonel Ibrahim Dogara from 3 Division, Nigeria Army, Jos said Gen. Ude has been a mentor and source of inspiration to them, saying that they will continue to work based on what they have learnt from him.