The Federal Government on Thursday felicitated with Naval officer Jamila Malafa on her promotion to retirement to the rank of Rear Admiral.
Malafa, an international maritime lawyer, is the first female Commodore in the history of the Nigerian Navy from the North.
Speaking at the shipping of stripes ceremony of the Rear Admiral at the Naval Headquarters in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described her as a trail blazer.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the same ceremony was also conducted for another newly promoted Rear Admiral, Pristine Efedue, who had also gone on retirement.
The Minister used the opportunity of the ceremony to commend the military for keeping Nigeria safe from the onslaughts of terrorists and criminal elements.
He said but for the sacrifices and patriotism of the military, Nigeria could have been overrun by the insurgents.
Mohammed commended the military for the sacrifices being made daily and for laying down their lives to keep the country safe and peaceful.
He specifically commended the Navy for the feat recorded in keeping the nation’s maritime territory safe and removing Nigeria from the list of piracy prone countries.
Also, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Awwal Gambo, said the event was symbolic because only a few of many enlisted officer attained such peak of their career.
Gambo said the promotion was a crown glory of hard work, dedication and sacrifices by the officers.
The CNS recalled that on December 15 last year, 30 Naval officers on the rank of Commodore were promoted to Rear Admiral, including the two promoted to retirement.
He said due to service exigencies, the duo were not decorated until the event and wished them a happy retirement.
Gambo noted that despite being promoted to retirement, they should endeavour to make themselves available whenever they were called upon for national assignment.
On security, Gambo said though Nigeria was facing a serious challenge, there had been tremendous success recorded by the military.
He acknowledged the support by Federal Government to the military in winning the war against terror and reaffirmed the loyalty of the armed forces to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Born in 1965, Malafa joined the Nigerian Navy in 1988 and was commissioned as a midshipman in 1990.
In December 2017, she became the first Northern woman in the history of the Nigerian Navy to reach the rank of Commodore.
She hold a Masters Degree in Criminal Law and was at a time appointed African Liaison in the International Criminal Court of Justice.
From 2018 till date, Malafa is a Judge and Evaluator in the International Criminal Court.
She was also the Director of Legal Services at the Naval Headquarters before her retirement.
Efedue, who is from Delta, was born in October 1966 and joined the Nigeria Defence Academy in 1986 and commissioned as sub-Lieutenant in 1991.
Efedue, who hold a Doctorate Degree in Diplomacy and International Affairs, was the Naval Provost Marshall at the Naval Headquarters before his retirement.