President Umaro Embaló of the Republic of Guinea Bissau has bestowed upon Brig.-Gen. Al-hassan Grema of the Nigerian Army the National Order of Merit, Cooperation and Development Medal of his country.
Brig.-Gen. Grema, who served as the pioneer Force Commander of the ECOWAS Stabilization Support Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ESSMGB), was deployed to Guinea Bissau in April 2022.
In an official statement released on Saturday, the Acting Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Tukur Gusau, stated that the award ceremony took place on September 27 at the Presidential Palace in Bissau.
Gusau explained that Gen. Grema’s deployment was prompted by a failed coup attempt in the country on February 1, 2022, during which the President and his cabinet were attacked at the Palacio do Governo while in a meeting.
During Gen. Grema’s 17-month tenure as the head of ESSMGB, Guinea Bissau experienced stability and peace.
“The presence of the ESSMGB significantly contributed to an atmosphere of peace and security in the fragile West African country, leading to a notable increase in economic activities and the return of numerous international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and global organizations,” Gusau stated.
He further added that several countries, including the United States, are in the process of reopening their diplomatic missions and offices in Bissau.
At the award ceremony, which was well-attended by Guinea Bissau’s military and political leaders, President Embalo praised Gen. Grema and extended his best wishes.
Gusau revealed that the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, commended Gen. Grema for bringing pride to Nigeria.
The CDS also urged other commanders in foreign missions to follow the outstanding example set by the senior officer.