Sequel to the recent redeployment of some senior officers of the Nigerian Army by the new Chief Of Army staff (COAS), Maj. Gen. Taoreed A. Lagbaja, Maj. Gen. John O. Ochai has assumed command as the 32nd Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna on Monday, June 26, 2023.
He took over from Maj. Gen. Ibrahim M. Yusuf, who proceeds on retirement after 33 years of meritorious service. In his brief remarks during the handing and taking-over ceremony at the NDA headquarters, the outgone Commandant, Maj. Gen. Yusuf, thanked God for a successful career and fruitful tenure as NDA Commandant.
He appreciated the entire NDA community for their various support while he was Commandant and urged them to extend the same cooperation to his successor, whom he described as a highly decorated officer and the right man for the job.
While applauding the appointment of Maj. Gen. Ochai, 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. He, therefore, congratulated Maj. Gen. Ochai on his appointment, wishing him a successful tenure in office.
Speaking also at the event, the new NDA Commandant described his appointment as a privilege to serve, noting that his primary responsibility was towards the cadets and staff development. He appreciated his predecessor, Maj Gen Yusuf, describing him as a great man and successful military officer.
He further disclosed that it would be difficult to fill the shoes of his predecessor but he has been prepared to handle the responsibility, through the outgone Commandant’s mentorship and training. The new Commandant expressed his readiness to learn, noting that every appointment is an opportunity for learning and improvement while congratulating 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. Maj Gen. Ochai is a member of 39 Regular Course and a highly decorated officer of the Nigerian Army Armoured Corps. His previous appointments included Director of Operations, Army Headquarters, and Commandant of the Nigerian Army Armoured School, Bauchi, among other notable appointments. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role as the Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
The highlights of the ceremony included the signing of the handing and taking-over notes, decoration of the new Commandant with NDA insignia, lowering and hoisting of flags and inspection of Quarter Guard, amongst others.