By Evelyn Usman
As part of precautionary measures taken to curtail the spread of Corona Virus in Military barracks , the Chief of Army Staff, COAS Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai , Tuesday, commissioned two blocks of 78 flats, at the 9 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Ikeja Cantonment, Lagos , in order to decongest the barracks of officers who are squatting.
In the same vein, construction and renovation works on dilapidated buildings for soldiers , according to the COAS, were still ongoing.
The COAS, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding GOC 81 Division, Major General Johnson Irefin, ordered the concerned officers within the ranks of Lieutenant and Major, to immediately take over their respective flats. He was however quick to add that those who occupied the flats before the renovation work began last year , were entitled to them, except those posted out.
Describing the event as another epoch making ceremony in the annals of the Ikeja cantonment, he noted that it was the third time accommodation facilities would be commissioned there.
He said, ” There is another ongoing renovation of four blocks. Construction of accommodation for soldiers is also ongoing.
Noting that the COAS had been generous to the division , he urged officers and men to remain dedicated and loyal by making efforts to maintain their accommodations.
He said, “They are your houses, they are no more Army houses which is the impression we normally have. Therefore, treat it the way you will treat your own property. You all know the essence of decay before the COAS came in , and all the efforts he had put in.
“So, please, do your best to maintain this thing. As soon as any part is deteriorating, make every effort to repair it, as it is your accommodation and not the Army’s.
Continuing, he said, “Immediately the Chief heard that this building had been completed yesterday but not inhabited, he told me to ensure it was commissioned immediately and officers relocated with immediate effect.
This accommodation will be given to those who were staying there before it’s renovation. It is only those posted out that they will not be allocated. You are to go back to the same room you were before”.
Other measures put in place to checkmate the spread of the dreaded CODVID 19 virus within the cantonment , as observed, included the installation of washing basins and soaps at designated entrances, where troops and visitors washed their hands before applying hand sanitizer.
Also, efforts made by the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Etsu Ndagi, to curtail the spread of the dreaded virus within the cantonment, included an enlightenment programme for Non Commission Officers , Women and youth leaders within the cantonment , with emphasis on the need for exceptional high standard hygiene to include regular washing of hands, use of hand sanitisers, face masks and sanitary gloves among others.
Every one was screened with an infra-red thermometer before entering, while social distancing was strictly observed during the brief event.