The outgone Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Awwal Gambo (Rtd.), has ascribed the successes recorded during his administration to his professional colleagues, officers, and ratings of the Navy as well as his family.
Awwal said this at his Pulling Out ceremony which was held at the Nigerian Navy Ship QUORRA, Apapa on Saturday after having served for 39 years.
He said that his military career, which commenced with his Officer Cadet training in 1984, had been rewarding and added that, ‘everything that has a beginning, has an end.”
“Just as it is for any old sailor in history, this great ceremony marks the end of my illustrious military career and exit from our beloved Nigerian Navy.
“In the words of Helen Keller, ‘The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of heroes but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.’
“Also, according to Merle Crowell, ‘It is the men behind who make the man ahead,’ the retired CNS quoted.
Awwal said that these quotations gave credence to the immense support, cooperation and motivation he enjoyed throughout his career, without which he would not be celebrated as a fulfilled leader.
“For this, I remain grateful to my professional colleagues, family and other well-meaning personalities across the various walks of life, that offered me their shoulders to lean on while I served.
“I appreciate the Almighty Allah for a successful naval career, judging from the fact that some of our compatriots and colleagues did not have the same opportunity.
“Sadly, several of our professional colleagues and contemporaries have fallen along the line of duty, while some paid the supreme sacrifice in various campaigns, both at the domestic and international scenes,” he said.
The CNS prayed that the souls of the departed compatriots continue to rest in the bosom of the Almighty and that God continues to grant their families the desired comfort for a good life.
The CNS said that our dear nation was endowed with a professional and vibrant Navy, which had continued to defend its territorial integrity from the maritime flank.
“The Nigerian Navy has ever demonstrated the resolve to protect the invaluable resources within the nation’s maritime environment and project the country’s image globally.
“For me as the 21st indigenous Chief of the Naval Staff, it has been a unique opportunity to lead in the onerous task of delivering on our Navy’s constitutional role.
“I can say that our navy is a Service of global repute and standards, which we can be proud of,” he said.
Awwal said that his vision and mission guided the Nigerian Navy to uphold the strong support and values needed to succeed in its activities and operations.
“My mission is to optimise the deployment of the Nigerian Navy in the performance of her constitutional roles and undertaking of assigned tasks.
“While promptly responding with commensurate actions to other emerging national security challenges.
“Looking back, I proudly reflect on the giant strides we attained in various facets of the Service under my leadership.
“The Nigerian Navy made significant improvement in operations, logistics, manpower development and personnel welfare,” he said.
The CNS said that the navy recorded great achievements in anti-crude oil theft, anti-piracy and counterinsurgency operations as well as fleet renewal and massive infrastructural development among others.
“An appraisal of these efforts explains the successes attained by the Service, with increasing capacity to project force across the Gulf of Guinea in support of our neighbours and international partners.
“The secrets to these noble achievements remain Teamwork, Integrity and Professionalism.
“Our Navy is stronger and better positioned than ever before to discharge its constitutional roles for our national security and economic prosperity,” Awwal said.
He commended the officers, ratings and civilian staff of the Navy.
“I commend the officers and staff of our dear Service for their loyalty and dedication, which assisted us to achieve so much.
“I urge all our personnel to remain steadfast in their service to our fatherland for the overall wellbeing of the Nigerian State,” he said.
Awwal also commended and thanked the 22nd indigenous CNS, Rear Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, for the honour done to him within a short period after he assumes office.
“I sincerely appreciate this gesture. You can be assured of my prayers, best wishes, and support always,” he said.
The CNS thanked former President Muhammadu Buhari, for finding him worthy of leading the Nigerian Navy for almost two and a half years as well as his immense support and encouragement during his tenure as the CNS.
“My appreciation also goes to President Bola Tinubu, for the confidence entrusted to the Nigerian Navy.
“I pray that the Almighty God will continue to guide him in steering the affairs of the country to greater heights,” he said.
Awwal noted that the assistance from various quarters was invaluable but that it would have yielded no fruits without the personnel of the Nigerian Navy.
“I cannot, therefore, thank you enough for your dedication as I wholeheartedly commend your enviable teamwork and professionalism.
“I charge you all to keep up the high standards and remain devoted to the Service.
“Most importantly, I enjoin you to sincerely extend the same cooperation to the CNS, Rear Adm. Ogalla,” he said.