By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai have received plaudits for siting a state-of-the-art Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
Describing the president as a “friend of the south-east”, the Igbos in Nigeria Movement (INN) said he has once again shamed his naysayers and rubbished all their narration of hatred with this act.
According to the group, indeed the COAS’ several security interventions and projects in the region were for good and for the betterment of the lives of the people.
Recall that the groundbreaking ceremony of the ultra-modern army health facility took place at Nkwagu Cantonment on Friday.
At the event, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi expressed support for Lt. Gen. Buratai and other security chiefs, adding that “what these people need are cooperation and information”.
In reaction through a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Anthony Igbokwe, on Saturday, the Igbos in Nigeria Movement admitted that this is the latest in a long list of developmental projects initiated by both the Buhari-led administration and Army under Lt. Gen. Buratai.
Among others, the group recalled the water treatment plant in Enugu, partnership with Innoson Motors and indigenous shoemakers in Aba as well as several ongoing FG projects including airports, roads and Niger Bridge.
On behalf of all its members worldwide, Mr Igbokwe expressed gratitude to the president and the COAS for achieving another milestone despite the wholesome propaganda.
While throwing its weight behind President Buhari and the Army chief, Mr Igbokwe, however, urged them to continue the giant strides in the region and across the country.
The statement reads: “The Army and indeed the military remain a major pillar of stability for our great nation, Nigeria. The army is one institution that has paid and continues to pay a huge price to secure and keep the nation united. Even though they have had to pay the ultimate price sometimes, yet they remain unrelenting in their resolve to achieve this goal.
The Army though mainly charged with the duty of securing the country against foreign aggression, has not limited itself to that alone but has also had to join in internal security operations to help defend the sovereignty of the nation. Though totally stretched and operating under lean resources, they continue to give all of their best to secure us all, yet they barely get the credits they deserve.
For those who do not forget quickly, they may recall the times before the emergence of the current chief of army Staff (COAS) LT Gen Tukur Buratai, the southeastern part of the country was battling several criminal onslaughts such as kidnapping, armed robbery, ritual killings and all sorts of criminality.
Upon coming on board, the COAS in collaboration with other security agencies swung into action. Operation “ Exercise Egwu Eke” was set up to tackle all sorts of criminality in the south-east. This was later named “ Exercise Atilogwu Udo”. The successes of these operations are evident to the residents of the South East as they witnessed the quick and steady reduction in criminal activities in the region. Many robbers, cultist, kidnappers etc. were apprehended. The operations were no doubt a success.
The Army under Lt. General Buratai beyond providing security in the south-east has also made it a point of duty to continue to support the provision of developmental projects across the southeastern part of the country. One of such laudable project is the water treatment plant in Abakpa, Enugu State capable of supplying over one million litres of water daily. This is a great intervention for residents of this community who have suffered years of the perennial water problem.
While thanking the COAS for this laudable project, we feel it is also important to acknowledge the Lt Gen Buratai led army for its partnership with Innoson motors. This partnership is a sign of a sincere commitment to the unity of the country by the army. The partnership no doubt will help provide more jobs for the people of the south-east.
Also very commendable is the partnership with shoemakers in Aba, Abia State to produce shoes and boots for the Nigeria army. Some may not grasp the significance of these partnerships immediately, but we at INM see further than the initial gains of these partnerships. We see the multiplier effects on the economy of the region.
We see the new jobs that will be created from the workers in the factory to the suppliers that will build a living around these partnerships to the communities that will benefit from the improved economy of these transactions.
To crown it, we would like to appreciate the Nigeria Army for the recent groundbreaking ceremony of an Army reference hospital in Abakaliki Ebonyi State. This world-class hospital project when completed will meet the medical needs of both the army personnel in the south-east and civilian populace in the region.
This is despite the narration by champions of division and propagandist who continuously attempt to poison the mind of the good people of the south-east against the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Army. The citing of world-class projects like the army reference hospital in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State has shamed the naysayers and rubbished all their narration of hatred.
Contrary to the propaganda by those who want to continue to hold the south-east hostage under a false guise, it is now clear that the security interventions in the south-east region were for the liberation of the region from the shackles of criminals parading themselves as social crusaders. The truth is that these operations by the Nigerian Army have actually helped to secure the south-east from criminals and miscreants who hide under secession propaganda to perpetuate their criminal activities. There is no doubt that the majority of the populace appreciate the peace and tranquillity the region now enjoys.
With the several laudable projects by the army in the south-east, we have no doubt that the army, and indeed the government of President Buhari are friends of the south-east. The level of physical infrastructural development ongoing in the south-east at the moment is a testament to this fact. The airports, roads, Niger bridge etc are unprecedented by any government before now.
We use this opportunity on behalf of all our members worldwide and indeed all the good people of the south-east to thank Lt. Gen. Buratai for his unflinching support for peace and security in the south-east.
We also thank President Buhari for the rapid deployment of quality infrastructural projects to the south-east. We encourage the President as the father of the nation to see all critics from the region as his children and treat them as such. We assure him that the majority of the good people of the south-east see all these good works and appreciate them.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria