COS Ziakahn pins a promoted ECOWAS officer during the ceremony. (Photo by Sgt. Mussah Boye)

Officers of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) recently held a pinning ceremony to commemorate the promotion of three ‘distinguished’ officers of the ECOWAS Advisory Training Team assigned to the soldiers.

The ceremony, according to a release, was hosted at the AFL headquarters located in the Barclay Training Center on UN Drive in Monrovia.

Lieutenant Colonel (Lt/Col.) SS Ibrahim and Lt/Col. ND Akpagher of the Nigerian army and Lt/Col. NYS Essel from the Ghanaian army were the honorees who the release said are experienced ECOWAS advisors providing valuable expertise and sharing experiences in the area of training and strategic decision making in the AFL.

Major General (Maj/Gen.) Daniel D. Ziakahn, Jr., Chief of Staff of the AFL, pinned the officers. He was assisted by Colonel E.O. Oduyebo, head of EATT, and Lt/Col. Marc Saphir, US Defense Attaché.

Maj/Gen. Ziakahn, on behalf of the AFL, expressed  sincere felicitations to the officers, noting, “It is a testimony of the work you have done.” He also thanked the honorees for their contribution to the growth and development of the AFL.

Lt/Col. Simbabi Suleiman Ibrahim currently serves as Engineer Advisor and mentor at the Camp Tubman Military Barracks in Bong County. He was admitted into the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna, in 1999 as a member of the 51st Regular Course. He graduated in 2004 and was commissioned to the rank of second lieutenant in the Nigerian Army Engineers.

Lt/Col. Ibrahim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and two Master’s degrees, one in International Affairs and Defense Studies and the other in Conflict, Security and Development. He is also an associate member of the National Institute of Managementand  has the Forces Service Star, Foreign Training Assistance Medal, General Operations Medal, United Nations African Mission in Darfur Medal, United Nations Mission in Liberia Medal and the prestigious Passed Staff Course broach. He has attended several military courses and has taken part in Operation MESA in Jos, United Nations African Mission in Darfur and the United Nations Mission in Liberia among several other operations.

Lt/Col. Ngusha David Akpagher now serves as the Training Advisor and mentor at the Armed Forces Training Command. He attended the prestigious Nigerian Defense Academy as a member of 51st Regular Course and graduated in September 2004; he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant. He has attended numerous military courses in his career and holds a Bachelor of Science honors in Economics, a Diploma in Maneuver Warfare and a Master’s in War Studies Maritime from the National Defense University, Islamabad, Pakistan.

His military medals include the Forces Service Star, General Operations Medal, Foreign Training Assistance Medal, African Mission in Sudan Medal, United Nations Mission In Liberia Medal and Passed Staff Course brooch. Lt/Col. Akpagher has held numerous appointments, including the Adjutant 202 Battalion, Platoon commander NIBATT 5 African Mission in Sudan, ADC to Corp Commander Armor, instructor at the Nigerian Army Armor School, Operations Officer NIBATT 28 UNMIL, MA to Corp Commander Armor and Staff Officer 2 Equipment Procurement at Army Head Quarters, a position he held till coming to Liberia as the training Advisor at AFTC.

At present, Lt/Col. Samuel Nana Yaw Essel serves as the training advisor and mentor at the 23rd Infantry Brigade, EBK Barracks. He was enlisted into the Ghana Armed Forces in October 2001 and was commissioned into the Artillery Corp as a Lieutenant in September 2003.

Essel graduated from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Law. He also holds a Master’s degree in Defense and International Politics from the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College.

As part of his distinguished service both at home and abroad, he has held several appointments, which include Adjutant, Intelligence Officer, Battery Commander and Chief Operations Officer. Until his deployment to Liberia as part of ECOWAS Advisory Training Team of the AFL, he was the Assistant Director Army Operations at the Ghana Army Headquarters.

With officers from Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone, the EATT has played a major role in the training and professional development of the AFL since it was restructured in 2006.

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