By Steve Oko
Weeks after military siege following a confrontation between soldiers and ‘unknown gunmen’, the Nigeria Army, Monday, embarked on free medical outreach in Ohafia , Abia State.
The outreach featured tests for common killer diseases like high blood pressure and disabilities, eye checks, as well as free distribution of mosquito nets, eyeglasses and drugs.
Brigade Commander, 14 Brigade Army Command, Ohafia, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Wabili, in a remark at the event, said it was part of activities marking this year’s Nigeria Army Day celebration.
He said that the gesture was part of strategies to build and boost civil-military relationship and mutual trust between the Army and their host community or operational base.
The Brigade Commander said the gesture was targeted at providing free medical consultations, diagnosis and treatments to various Killer diseases ravaging the civilian populace.
He assured that the Army medical team was prepared and equipped to attend to as many patients that would be coming for the exercise.
Gen. Wabili who assured of the readiness of the Nigeria Army to ensure the safety and peace of Abia residents, noted that calm had returned to Ohafia after the tension of the past weeks.
“We had disruptions some weeks back but peace has returned to Ohafia again, and we assure law-abiding citizens of their safety,” he said.
“If you are a good citizen you don’t need to be afraid of soldiers”, he added, while commending the Abia State Government for its continued support to the Army and other security agencies in the state.
Speaking at the event, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu commended the Army and other security agencies for their strategic role in the security of lives and property of residents.
The Governor, who was represented by the Secretary to State Government, Mr. Chris Ezem, pledged the continued support of his administration to security agencies in the state, while describing the Army as “strategic security partners”.
Commending the Army authorities for the free medical outreach, Ikpeazu urged Ohafia locals to take advantage of the exercise to improve their health conditions.
The governor also applauded the Army and other military personnel for their sacrifices for the security of the country.
In a remark, the traditional ruler of Akanu Ohafia, HRM Ezeogo Mba Odo Okereke, thanked the Army for the gesture and affirmed that calm had returned to Ohafia after the weeks of tension.
He said Ohafia had had its fair share of the security challenges in the country but noted that peace had finally returned to the area.
The Secretary General of Ohafia Council of Monarchs assured the Army of the hospitality of the entire Ohafia clan for harmonious relationship between the Army and their host communities.
Later in an interview, the Chairman of Ohafia Local Government Area, Dr. Okoroafor Ukiwe, said it would not be out of place if the federal government would consider amnesty for youths involved in the clash with the military in the area.
The Council boss who noted that some of the youths might have been brainwashed added that the council had rolled out plans to empower some youths for self-reliance.
He thanked the Army for its immense role in boosting the security of the council and assured of the continued support of the Council Authorities.