Major-General John Ochai has assumed office as the 32nd Commandant of Nigeria’s foremost military university, the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.
General Ochai took over from Major General IM Yusuf, who proceeded into retirement after 33 years of service to the country.
This followed the recent deployment of some senior officers in the Nigerian Army by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja.
In his brief remarks during the handover ceremony at the NDA Headquarters in Kaduna, the outgoing Commandant, Maj Gen IM Yusuf, thanked God for his successful career and fruitful tenure as head of the nation’s foremost military university.
He appreciated the entire NDA community for their various forms of support while he was commandant, urging that the same cooperation be extended to his successor, whom he described as “a highly decorated officer and the right man for the job.”
The erstwhile commandant described his relationship with the new commandant as cordial, having worked together in different capacities, including 7 Division Maiduguri and Department of Operations, Army Headquarters, Abuja.
Also speaking at the event, the new commandant described his appointment as a privilege to serve while noting that his primary responsibility was towards the cadets and staff development.
He described his predecessor as a great man and successful military officer, adding that it would be difficult to fill the shoes of his predecessor, but he has been prepared to handle the responsibility through the outgoing commandant’s mentorship and training.
He also expressed readiness to learn, noting that every appointment was an opportunity for learning and improvement.
The commandant used the occasion to congratulate General Yusuf for his successful retirement and thanked him for his impressive service to the Nigerian Armed Forces and the nation. He also wished the outgone commandant the very best in life.
The new commandant was a member of 39 Regular Course and a highly decorated officer of the Nigerian Army Armoured Corps.
His previous appointments include Director of Operations, Army Headquarters, and Commandant of the Nigerian Army Armoured School, Bauchi, among other notable ones.
He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role as Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
The highlights of the event include the signing of the handing and taking over notes, decoration of the new Commandant with NDA Insignia, lowering and hoisting of flag and inspection of quarter guard, amongst others.