The Commander 14 Brigade Nigerian Army Brigadier General Adegoke Adetuyi and his officers were today present at the celebration of Ebem-Ohafia New Yam Festival at the Abum Square Ekeleogu Palace.

The presence of the Commander and his men at the occasion, which was greeted with a lot of jubilations by the people, was seen by many as a mark of cordiality between the military and the host community. While responding to greetings from the traditional chiefs and elders at the occasion, the Commander seized the opportunity to appreciate the people for extending invitation to the Army to be part of the beautiful cultural festival in Ebem-Ohafia.

He stated that Ohafia people, as he was made to know, are hospitable people that are not known for violence and criminality, noting that these attributes must be maintained for social and economic development to thrive in the land. He pointed out that the officers and men that make up 14 Brigade are from all parts of Nigeria, including Abia State, hence the Ohafia people should see them as brothers and sisters. He stressed that his presence at the festival was to show the people that the Army has many good things to do with the good people of Ohafia.

He however reiterated that purveyors of violence and criminalities in the community should not be harboured by the good people, as such unholy collaboration could spell distrust and harm the peaceful coexistence between the military and Ohafians. The Commander who pointed out that although his Area of Responsibility covers the whole of Abia State, he however has special interest in the security and peace of Ohafia, being the host community of his Headquarters.

In his words “all we need from our traditional rulers, monarchs, various leaders is to encourage our youths to shun acts that are inimical to peace and security, because without peace, no reasonable growth and development can be experienced. The good people of Ohafia should clearly dissociate themselves from the few criminal elements that are killing and harming innocent people in the community. By doing that it would be easier to protect the people.”

Earlier, the President General of Ebem Ohafia Youths Development Forum, Emeka Mba appreciated the Brigade Commander and his entourage for identifying with them by attending the New Yam Festival, which showcased the love the entire Brigade has for Ebem and Ohafia community in general. He stated that it is an agelong relationship which the leadership of the community will not allow hoodlums and misguided elements to destroy.

The event witnessed many colourful cultural dances, as the Commander, Brigadier General Adegoke Adetuyi and his entourage were treated to interesting display by the traditional Ebem-Ohafia warriors dance. The Ekpe masquerades, age-grade women and children dancers were also on display to entertain the people and the guests. The highpoint of the event was the presentation of a tuber of new yam and bottles of wine to the Brigade Commander to signify the love of the community to the military, as they thank the Almighty God for bountiful harvest in the season.

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