By Isaiah Eka
The Nigerian Army has urged its officers and men to continue to ensure that enabling environment is created to enhance democratic process as the country approaches 2019 general elections.
The Commander, 2 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Nasiru Jega, gave the advice at the 2018 West African Social Activities (WASA) held in Igbawa barracks in Abak, Akwa Ibom State.
Jega urged the personnel of the Nigerian Army to sustain the high standard of commitment towards maintaining peace in the nation.
“The challenge before us is to ensure that appropriate and enabling environment is created so that the development of democratic process in the country is enhanced. I urge you to sustain the high standard of commitment towards maintaining peace and stability in the nation.
“As the general election approaches, we have the task of providing an enabling environment within an area of responsibility for the conduct of a smooth election.
“In days ahead, emphasis will be placed on internal security training so that we can help our nascent democracy to grow from strength to strength.
“The transformation process in the Nigerian Army, which is ancoured on attitudinal change among others, is meant for the challenge ahead,” Jega said.
The commander charged the personnel to continue to remain loyal to constituted authorities and resist the temptations of being used for the promotion of any political interests.
He commended Akwa Ibom State Government for the continuous support to the army, especially Operation Thunders, to ensure peace in the state.
He appealed to Gov. Udom Emmanuel to complete the gym project in the Wellington Bassey barracks, started by the former Govenor of the state, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.
Jega said WASA is a regular activity of the army, organised annually to bring officers and men, families serving, retired and friends to social gathering to wine and dine together.
The commander commended personnel of the 2 brigade for their commitment in the discharge of their constitutional duties.
Emmanuel acknowledged the contributions of the army in restoring peace to Ukanafun, Etim Ekpo and part of Ika, which was engulfed by insecurity for almost two years.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Udo Ekpenyong, applauded the army for their role in internal security.
Emmanuel promised to complete renovation of some of the structures in barracks as earlier promised during WASA 2017.
“It is my opinion that without the Nigerian soldiers, Ukanafun, Etim Ekpo and part of Ika communities would have been consumed by insecurity. Last year, I made a contribution to the renovation of buildings, that house the Nigerian soldiers and the work is ongoing and very soon the work will be completed, ” Emmanuel said.
The governor noted that WASA had engendered proper unity and integration among the soldiers, as the programme afforded all to assemble in a relaxed atmosphere devoid of rigours of office.
Highpoints of the event were the display of cultural dance and tug-of-war between the 2 brigade and 6 Battalion, Nigerian Army and the lighting of camp fire among others.