…commends NA fighting spirit against insurgency
By: Okosun Dennis
Nigerian Army has been described as the last bastion of hope of the nation as it would continue to remain as a unifying factor while providing needed security for the nation.
Speaking on Saturday at the 65 Battalion, Bonny Cantonment, Victoria Island, during the West Africa Social Activities (WASA), the former Commandant Nigerian Army College of Logistics, Major General Timothy Oliomogbe (retd) commended the army for its dexterity and steadfastness.
Gen Oliomogbe, who was the Special Guest of Honour during the combined WASA organised by the 81 Division, and Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers, called on the force to “stay focussed and go the extra mile in its operations” that would galvanize an enabling environment for peaceful, stable and a prosperous country.
However, he challenged personnel to maintain the standards achieved in 2022 and improve on it, adding that the 81 Division and the Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers have performed credibly in the previous training year which led to the ernomous successes in the counter-insurgency operations.
On his part, the General Officer Commanding GOC 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Obinna Ajunwa while giving the genealogy of WASA said it had a long historical antecedents starting during the colonial masters.
He observed that WASA has continued to provide an enabling environment in the barracks to socialize with friends and families after the rigours of trainings and operational responsibilities during the year.
He further explained that there is no form of discrimination. “If you look at the social activities, you will see the Ibos, Hausas, Yorubas, Edos, Efik and dancers from other tribes come together to perform the same dance pattern, reflecting each of the ethnic group signifying unity.
“This is what we keep practicing every year to make sure we represents that unifying factor that holds us as a nation together.”
The elated Gen Ajunwa further explained: “I am proud of having soldiers, officers displaying their best with sterling qualities in the barracks while regimentation, tradition and culture still remains. This is an event that unifies all the ethnic groups and we have remained that agency that unifies Nigerians.
“WASA is an event every military personnel cherish as it provides the opportunity to interact in a more relaxed atmosphere after a hectic year and a time to recognize personnel that have distinguished themselves in conduct during the year, ” he reiterated.
The Commander, Nigerian Army Corps of Engineers, Maj Gen Ehizokhale Eromosele noted that WASA has lived up to expectations; giving a rare chance to appreciate personnel for both professional and training activities.
On fostering relationships with the civilian populace, Gen Eromosele reiterated that WASA gives the enabling environment to bring in friends they have partnered with to participate, appreciate their efforts and contributions in helping the army realize its operational objectives.
During the lavish ceremony which attracted dignitaries from all walks of life, featured numerous cultural display reflecting every cultural identity of the country.
Soldiers that distinguished themselves in different fields – personal discipline and proactivity – were rewarded with different cash prizes. Some of them included Warrant Officer Jackson of 81 Division Army Public Relations,
Corporal Mohammed Abdulkarim
Lance Corporal Fasoyin Oluwabisayo and Sergeant Oladokun Okalawo among others.
High point of the social activities were beating the retreat and lighting of bonfire to signify the end of the ceremony. Also, the Magajias featured prominently as they engaged female soldiers in a Tug-of-War competition just the same way 81 Division and Engineers slogged it out.
Present at the ceremony were a representatives of the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, Apapa; Air Officer Commanding (AOC), Logistics Command, Ikeja; the Garrison Commander, Brigadier General Abubakar Sadiqwho rendered the vote of thanks; the Commanding Officer, 65 Battalion, Bonny Cantonment, Victoria Island, Lt Col Mohammed Lawal, the Unit Commander Lagos Island Unit Command, FRSC, Assistant Corps Commander Esther Uzoma.