By Chiemelie Ezeobi
The new General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Godwin Umelo has charged officers and soldiers in the command to be prepared to work hard in protecting the nation’s territorial integrity.
Umelo gave this charge after his predecessor, Major General Olu Irefin handed over the baton of office to him at the command headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos.
During the handing and taking over ceremony, Umelo, who sought for the cooperation of officers and soldiers of the division, noted that with collective efforts, there is no challenge that cannot be surmounted.
He said: “It’s a privilege and honour to be appointed as the GOC 81 Division. I am not unmindful of the challenges inherent in command responsibilities like this but I want to believe that with collective efforts, we should be able to surmount whatever challenges that comes.
“I want to challenge everybody under my command to be ready to work. I am a workaholic and I would ensure that the standard does not go below what I have met on ground and I extend the hands of fellowship to everybody as we steer the ship of 81 Division to greater heights.”
While addressing troops afterwards at the Bonny Cantonment Parade Ground, Umelo assured them that he would strive to ensure that all they need to function optimally are made available within the limits of available resources.
On discipline and general conduct, he reiterated that based on the brief he received from his predecessor, “I am impressed about your behaviour generally and urge you to continue on that brilliant note. However, I will ensure we have regular interraction where we can address pertinent problems”.
Earlier, Irefin while decorating his successor with the division’s insignia and accoutrements at the conference room at the division headquarters, expressed joy at the successes recorded in his one year in office.
Irefin, who was redeployed to 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt as the GOC, reiterated that he was privileged to command the division, adding that some of his modest achievements include the plethora of structural development all over its Area of Responsibility (AOR).
On training he said, “We had so much especially the conduct of Operation Crocodile Smile 4, which combined all the services and had tremendous successes as it curbed the activities of miscreants within AOR.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t carry out all the scheduled first quarter activities due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic,” Gen Irefin added.
Before his appointment as the new GOC, 81 Division, Umelo was formerly at the Army Headquarters, Department of Army Training and Operations (DATOPs), Abuja.