Analysis: Nigerian Army, Taking Medical Succour To Host Communities In EnuguFeatured Contributors/Columnists, Ignatius Okpara, Latest News Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
By IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu
Since the advent of the ongoing Nigeria’s democratic rule about sixteen years ago, the nation has continued to witness a great deal of improved cordial Civil/military relationship, especially with the khaki uniform men,(Army) in parts of the country.
The incessant cases of military brutality of bloody civilians as it is often referred to in military cycles which use to be the order of the day years back, is gradually becoming a thing of the past.
Even though, there are still pockets of reported cases of harassment and intimidation of innocent citizens in some segments of the nation by soldiers, especially in Southern Nigeria, one must say that the Civil/ military relationship across the country has improved tremendously since the period under review.
Suffice it to also say that this positive development, couldn’t have been possible without the disposition of the top echelon of the Army.
In this regard, Kudos must go to some ex- Chief of Army Staff, (COAS), such as Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, and his successor, the immediate past Army helmsman, Gen. Kenneth Minimah, whose tenures in office practically promoted and took the Military, Civil relationship to greater heights.
Indeed, Nigerians are happy that they can now relate freely with both officers, and the rank and files in the Army without fear of molestation or harassment, as obtained in the past.
However, as part of measure to sustain and deepen the aforementioned relationship, authorities of the Nigerian Army, had over the years, touched the lives of many civilians, via her various human oriented programmes.
The Army since inception of the civil rule, had embarked on numerous charity and humanitarian services, including capital intensive projects that are beneficial to members of the civil populace, particularly in their host communities.
One of such laudable charity services to humanity, through which many lives are saved is the annual Army free medical outreach to host communities.
There is no gain saying the fact that the yearly free medi outreach, deserves commendation by all, irrespective of what victims of soldiers brutality may feel about the army guys.
The exercise, which is replicated in all the states within its various Divisions and areas of operations, had indeed endeared host communities to the Army.
For instance, the 2015 edition of the free health programme brought medical succour to scores of residents within the 82 Division, Nigeria Army Enugu.
The week long programme, which was flagged- off on Thursday,1st October, 2015, at Abakpa -Nike area of Enugu by the General officer Commanding GOC 82 Division, Brigadier- General Ibrahim Attahiru, also took place in other places as Obiagu, Garki market and Emene.
The exercise, which coincided with the celebration of Nigeria’s 55th Independence anniversary, is aimed at bringing health care services to the door steps of the Division’s host communities.
Speaking while flagging -off the programme, GOC Attahiru, stated that the week long free medical outreach will be carried out in some selected host communities within its areas of operation in the south- East and South regions of Nigeria.
He added that the programme is part of the Division’s routine effort at giving back to the society.
According to the 82 Division chief, who had earlier paid homage to the traditional ruler of Nike, Igwe Julius Nnaji, “the exercise is also aimed at enhancing the already existing cordial civil military relationship between 82 Division and its host communities”
He disclosed that during the exercise, special emphases would be given to Eye/ dental services, hypertension, awareness, blood pressure monitoring and as well as “other important health issues would be treated”
“During the exercise, appropriate drugs would also be given freely to patient found who need them”
He also called on Enugu residents to take advantage of the routine exercise.
In his remarks, Igwe Nnaji, had expressed appreciation to the Army for the gesture, assuring the GOC of his palace readiness to partner with the Division at all times.
However, as the civil populace continue to enjoy this positive and impressive development, there is need for the incumbent COAS, General Tukur Buratai, to sustain the tempo by making discipline the watchword of his administration.
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