Lagabaja took the baton from the 22nd Chief, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya who had been in command since May 2021.
He said that God had made it his turn to receive the mantle of leadership of the Nigerian army, an aspiration of every combatant army officer.
The new army chief said the Nigerian army had in the past 25 months, witnessed milestone transformation under his predecessor, Gen. Yahaya
He said these included unprecedented procurement of equipment and prudent management of human and material resources, which Nigeria had begun to reap the dividends.
Lagbaja thanked the former COAS for mentorship and empowering his military career.
According to him, following the leadership style of Gen. Faruk Yahaya, repentant terrorists have been surrendering in droves like never before.
“Currently we are witnessing more than ever before massive surrender by repentant insurgents in the North East in a manner that beats the expectation of any observer locally and internationally.
“There is no doubt that the experience and exposure garnered under you will help in the discharge of my duties as the chief of army staff, as you transit into retirement on this glorious day.
“I wish to assure you that I shall do everything within my power to improve on your legacy of a proficient, effective and admirable Nigerian Army,” he said.
Lagbaja also promised to improve on the legacies of his predecessors of a proficient and professional Nigeria army, adding that hard work would be rewarded under his watch.
“I promise that I shall discharge my responsibilities as COAS with fairness; merit and hard work shall be dully rewarded while appropriate measures taken to bring back in line anyone that errs,” he added.
Earlier, the former chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Yahaya said he was leaving the Nigerian Army better than he met it, adding that the army made remarkable successes in the fight against insecurity.
He said that the adversaries are currently in disarray across all theatres of operations, and charged officers and men to maintain the tempo.
Yahaya said, “You must continue to make deliberate efforts to improve your performance for heightened security, especially at this time of a new administration in our growing democracy.
“I charge you all to re-double your efforts in supporting the incoming Chief of Army Staff to achieve even greater heights.” (NAN)
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