Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Officer, 7 Guards Battalion, Guards Brigade-Nigerian Army, Team Leader Nigerian Contingent to Cameroon for May 20, 2018.
How is the Nigerian contingent, Cameroon’s guest for the 2018 National Day, bracing up for the parade in Yaounde on May 20?
For me as an individual, this will be the first time I will be participating in Cameroon’s National Day celebration in Yaounde but the Nigerian contingent has been participating in the festivities given that Cameroon is our very good neighbour and partner in progress both economically and militarily. The troops are very excited and looking forward to participating in such a national event. It is very clear that the position in which Cameroon has taken Nigeria in terms of partnership makes the parade the more exciting and highly awaited.
Can you present the troops that will be taking part in the May 20 parade in Yaounde?
We have a contingent made up of both the soldiers and officers and they are composed of different categories including the music, the band. We have a large contingent of Nigerian battalion that is going to take part in the National Day celebration in Cameroon. Our contingent is made up of both male and female and the latter constitute about 15 per cent of our troops. Our performance will be such that you would not be able to distinguish between male and female. All of them are professionally trained and the training is together without any distinction of male or female. We don’t always like to separate that these are males, these are females. All of them are soldiers and we will all perform very well. I can assure you that. I could have given you a foretaste of what these men and women will serve the public with in Cameroon but I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag because we want to make it exciting. If we give away our position now, the excitement would no longer be there.
What criteria did the Nigerian officials use to select the troops going to Cameroon?
As a matter of fact, all the soldiers in this battalion in particular and in the Nigerian army in general, are old and competent to take part in any celebration of the magnitude of Cameroon’s National Day. So, we do not have any particular criteria for all of them are fit and ready to go. All we did was just to select a few to represent many in the parade in Cameroon. If there is need even for another contingent, we can do it immediately.
What is peculiar about this contingent going to Yaounde?
Collectively, all of them are personnel of the Guards Brigade which is the elite force that carries out national functions on behalf of the Nigerian army and they also provide security of the Presidency and the entire Federal Capital City. They are the best among the best and they have been selected to participate in one of the parades we hold in very high esteem.