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By Evelyn Usman

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, weekend, promised to build structures for the Nigerian Army School, at the 9 Brigade, Ikeja Cantonment in Lagos, as part of the state government’s support to the Army and to acknowledge its efforts at tackling security issues in the state.

In addition, the governor who was the special guest of honour at the occasion of the West African Social Activities ,WASA organized by the 9 Brigade, extended the gesture to wives of soldiers who live in the 9 Brigade barracks , with a promise to empower them in skills acquisition.

While acknowledging the Army for its display of professionalism, the governor in his keynote address ,also appreciated wives and children of officers and soldiers, for keeping the home front while their breadwinners engage enemies of the country in different theaters of operation.

He said: “ I want to publicly acknowledge and thank officers and men of the Nigerian Army for the great work they are doing, in keeping the security and the sanctity of our nation, for the great work they are doing in other security operations in the country and Lagos state in particular. I do not have a better opportunity than now, to thank every one of you”.

Noting that the WASA event was an end of the year social cultural event across the Nigerian Army formations, he said it was not just for the men and officers but a family engagement , where their wives and children turn out in large number to celebrate their husbands and fathers and to thank God for sparing their lives , as well as to acknowledge the work they were doing for the nation.

He observed that the entire nation was represented at the occasion, an indication he said attested to the unity the Nigerian Army stood for and its level of professionalism as enshrined in the Service.

While extending what he described as the dividend of democracy to those living in the barracks, Sanwo-Olu announced that “ We will be working with the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association to bring about empowerment for its members.. I gave a commitment when the wife of the Chief of Army Staff visited. But I am giving another commitment here and the wife of the Garrison Commander will lead it.

“ I want to touch the lives of officers and men that are in this barracks. The concerned ministry will come and identify what kind of empowerment and skills we will bring that can help these women and ensure that they are also a source of support to their spouses who are serving the nation. This is the minimum we can do to ensure that government is felt by those in the barracks.

“ I know that the Education Corp of the Nigerian Army is very stringent and capable . We will also come around and see if there is any support we can give to your school in terms of structure, internet facilities or computer. This is just to help the children that are going to schools in this barracks, in order for them to be great citizens tomorrow. In addition to these, we will render support in any other areas the Brigade Commander can identify”, Sanwo-Olu stated.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Garrison Commander, 9 Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel D.J Abdalla, explained that the West African Social Activities ,WASA was an age long tradition practiced in the Nigerian Army, that brings soldiers and their families as well as invited guests in a social and conducive environment.

The gathering, according to him, “ is aimed at marking the end in the training activities of the year and to usher activities of the next year. This event would have been conducted last year but due to operational exigencies, it was moved to date.

Aside enhancing comradeship and esprit de-corp, WASA provides an avenue to interact and socialize in a relaxed manner that will enhance interactions among its personnel. It also serves as a genuine means of improving Civil- Military relations while providing platforms for families, friends and close ranks to socialize.

“ It also serves as an avenue to have hardworking , disciplined and dedicated soldiers. It is on this premise that the Chief of Army Staff deemed it necessary for all units and formations across the Nigerian Army to organize end of the year WASA”.

While appreciating the Lagos State Governor for the logistic support to Operations MESSA throughout the year 2021, Abdalla, also acknowledged the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Farouk Yahaha ,for his support , without which he said, successes recorded in the year 2021, would not be impossible.

On the part of men and officers of the Brigade, Abdalla, pledged that “ we shall continue to ensure security and safety of all law-abiding citizens while the criminal elements in the society will be checked. We shall continue to remain disciplined, dedicated and professional in our conducts, in all endeavors. We shall surely surmount all the security challenges in the nation

“ In the spirit of the Armed Forces remembrance day, we want to use this opportunity to remember our friends, colleagues and comrades who paid the supreme price while defending our fatherland” .

Present at the occasion were: the GOC 81 Division, Maj. Gen.Lawrence Fejokwu, Commander 9 Brigade, Brig Gen. Lander Seraso, heads of other sister services in Lagos, including the Commissioner of Police , Lagos State Police Command, Hakeem Odumosu, serving and retired Military and paramilitary personnel, traditional rulers, heads of industries among others.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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