The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin, has bagged the Garkuwan Matasan award for his transparency in military structure and leadership.
The Arewa Youth Council who nominated the security expert for the prestigious award said the group is formed with the sole aim of encouraging the emergence of credible leaders.
Arewa Youth Council President, Comrade Dogo Shagari in a statement issued in Abuja said the award which is to be presented formally on 6th December was prompted due to the contribution of the Nigerian Military in their quest to ensure peace and security in the country.
The award, the group said is the first of its kind in the history of its existence.
“True leadership is exemplified by a leader who understands the worth of his subjects and is ready to unite all efforts towards the attainment of organisational or traditional goals.
“In our efforts to encourage transparency in the military structure and leadership, we had a thorough phase of verifying military leaders who were nominated for this year’s award. In our pursuits to encourage fairness, an effective online based poll was employed for the final selection.
“It is our greatest honour to announce that the incumbent Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin defeated the last league of nominees to emerge the winner of this years edition defeating other nominated leaders like incumbent governors, heads of foreign missions and other heads of security agencies in Nigeria.
“Gen. Olonisakin re-oriented the Nigerian military to perceive their special assignments as collectively working for national security, the preservation of Nigeria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This inculcated values ensured the operational co-operation among troops, which was very instrumental to the reclamation of most of the Nigerian territories annexed by Boko Haram terrorists.
“Today, the various joint operations, collectively conducted by our troops under the able leadership of General Olonisakin has yielded tremendous results due to the professional assessments, timely deployment and prudent contributions of the incumbent Chief of Defence Staff.
“Upon assumption of office in July 2015, General Olonisakin stated his readiness to provide new strategic and operational direction in the prosecution of the fight against terror in the country and he did not fail in keeping to his promise.
“Today, through the effective coordination of the CDS, the once dreaded Boko Haram insurgents are now running from their own shadows as they continue to live in perpetual fear while many of the insurgents fled the country, the remnants are struggling to survive because the troops are smoking them out of their holes on daily basis.
“In a complementing research, we also observed that activities of militants especially in the Niger-Delta region is now on the decline under the supervision and directions of General Olonisakin.
“The routine naval patrols and the interception of oil bunkers has deterred the foul engagements of the sea pirates and the Nigerian waterways is absolutely free from the engagements of the formerly dreaded militants who were renowned for kidnapping and killing of oil workers with foreigners falling as victims.
“In furtherance of his firm resolution when he assumed duty, General Olonisakin empowered the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) through the acquisition of world class aircraft which enabled the counter of the insurgents an early task that was successfully accomplished. Within three years in office, General Olonisakin succeeded in harmonising all existing military structures and innovated the formations of brilliant ideas which have since united the three military service under his watch.
“It is note worthy that in our 40 years of existence, this category of award, “GARKUWAN MATASAN AREWA NAJERIYA” was preserved perhaps because it was difficult to identify any personality who was befitting for the honour.
“Rising from the 36th Annual General Congress of this noble forum, It is was unanimously adopted hence I was directed to send this letter of nomination as we anticipate to host the recipient during the conferment ceremony”, he said.