Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) is to graduate no fewer than 779 cadets on October 10, under strict COVID-19 prevention protocols.
The Commandant of the academy, Major-General Jamil Sarham, made this known at a press briefing on the Passing Out Parade (POP) of the 67 Regular Course and Short Service Course 46 (Army), on Friday, in Kaduna.
The commandant was represented by his deputy, AVM Ibrahim Ali.
Sarham said the POP for cadets of the 67 Regular Course and Short Service Course 46 (Army) would hold at the NDA Parade Ground at Afaka in Kaduna.
“This year, a total of 779 officer cadets are expected to pass out from the academy, of which 287 cadets of 67 Regular Course and 492 members of Short Service Course 46 will be commissioned into the Nigerian Armed Forces. The 287 Regular cadets are divided into the 3 arms of services with Nigerian Army having 127 cadets, Nigerian Navy, 85 cadets and Nigerian Air Force, 75 cadets. As you may recall, last year the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, was represented at the POP ceremonies for the 66 Regular Course and Short Service Course 45 (Army) by the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retired). I am glad to announce that the President, Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari will be the special guest of honour at this year’s event”.
According to Sarham, the event normally calls for high security measures around the academy and neighbouring communities.
“We, therefore, solicit for cooperation to ensure a hitch-free event”.
He noted that POP at the academy was usually preceded by some key activities.
“In this regard, activities for this year’s passing out parade commenced with this press briefing. On September 24, there will be a regimental dinner night in honour of the passing out cadets. On September 30, prize giving and beating of the retreat ceremony will hold at the NDA Parade Ground, Afaka by 3.00p.m”
He added that there would be Juma’at service in honour of the cadets, at the Nigerian Defence Academy Central Mosque, Afaka, on October 2.
“This event will be followed by the commandant’s luncheon on October 3, at the Academy House for the passing out cadets”.
He added that Christians in the community would hold an interdenominational church service at the Saviour’s Chapel, Afaka, on October 4.
Sarham said that the religious activities would afford the cadets and the entire community an opportunity for thanksgiving and prayers.
“We urge members of the public to also commit the cadets in their prayers at various religious gatherings across the country”.
According to him, the grande finale will be the POP on October 10.
“This will immediately be followed by the commissioning/piping ceremonies for cadets of 67 Regular Course and Short Service Course 46 (Army) at the Academy Auditorium. These two events will bring to close, the entire combined passing out parade activities for the year”.
He said in compliance with COVID-19 prevention protocols, the POP would be slightly different as only one guest would be allowed per a passing out cadet.
“All guests are requested to come along with their face masks and observe social/physical distance at all times”
He reassured that, NDA was committed to producing quality leaders of tomorrow for the armed forces.
“This set of passing out cadets would contribute greatly at the tactical level in tackling challenges facing us”.