January 15, 2018 By Regina Pratt
Former Chief of Defense Staff of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) has cautioned his successor to be aware of his actions in his new position.
Retired Lieutenant General John Milton was speaking last Wednesday at the Mayoung Officers Mess Lawn, Wilberforce Barracks, during his official handing over of the staff of office to Lieutenant General Brima Sesay.
Rtd. Lieutenant General Milton was appointed head of the army some twenty months ago by President Ernest Bai Koroma after the death of Lieutenant General S. O. Williams.
“This is not the time you know your friends. It is only when you have left that everybody needs to know, but beware. Leadership is just like a young and fresh palm tree with beehive of activities as it attracts a number of birds. I want you to distant yourself from those who will peddle around you saying this is their time,” he cautioned.
He referred to such soldiers as ‘lazy and unprofessional ones’ who always want to use the backdoor to get what they do not deserve, describing the handing over of baton as significant.
He acknowledged knowing the incoming CDS for a long time now and wished him well, with a promise to support him as the challenges ahead are surmountable.
“I was never a fan of the military, but I was cajoled some 38 years ago by the late Lt. Col A. M. M. Conteh to join the military as a private soldier and rose to the highest rank. The military is not a place to garner riches, but a place where the bond of friendship exist to a very large extent,” he stated.
According to him, he built a lot of friendship among the diplomatic community in Nigeria, China, United Kingdom, United States and the Lebanese community, and also advocated for the payment and increment in disability pension of Wounded in Action soldiers.
In his statement, the new CDS, Lt. Gen. Brima Sesay said: “It is a deep sense of gratitude to God today that I am receiving the baton of office of the Chief of Defense Staff since my appointment on 29th November, 2017. Let me thank the President and the former Minister of Defense and the present minister for their support.”
He promised to heed the advise of his predecessor and assured that his tenure would be inclusive.
According to him, he started his military career some 26 years ago at the Benguema Training Centre, adding that the RSLAF is known for its discipline, commitment and professional competence to undertake duties for the wellbeing of Sierra Leoneans.
“Let me inform you that my leadership is well informed about the issues affecting your wellbeing. The challenges of the force are not new to me and I will uphold the trust and confidence bestowed upon me and with God being my helper, I shall work to deliver according to your expectations,” he assured.