…As He Flags Off Exercise in Amaekpu Ohafia

The Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, has tasked the Nigerian Army to ensure Abia is free of all criminalities. He stated this yesterday 21 October 2022, during the flag off ceremony of Exercise GOLDEN DAWN II at the 14 Brigade Step Up Headquarters in Amaekpu Ohafia Abia State.

He was ably represented by his deputy, Right Honourable Udeh Okoh Chukwu. Stating that the Exercise will create a robust relationship between the military and other security agencies in the State.

In the words of the Governor, “I am very confident that this Exercise will assist greatly in flushing out criminal elements within the nooks and crannies of Abia State, so as to give all law abiding citizens the deserved peace and tranquility required for socio-economic development”.

He however enjoined troops to observe laid down Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct in order to prevent any action that may infringe on the rights of the populace. He reiterated the need for Abians to cooperate with the military and other security agencies at all times in carrying out their constitutional duties, in order for peace to reign in the State.

Earlier in his Welcome Address, the Commander 14 Brigade Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Adegoke Adetuyi expressed delight to welcome His Excellency and other invited guests to the Step-Up Headquarters, for the official Flag-Off ceremony of the Nigerian Army Field Training Exercise nicknamed Exercise GOLDEN DAWN II.

Stating that “is one of the military exercises initiated by the Army Headquarters across the country at this period of the year. It is tailored towards enhancing the security of law abiding citizens in Abia State during the yuletide season and electioneering period in preparation for 2023 General Elections, …and that it will be conducted in collaboration with other security agencies who would be performing their statutory roles”.

The Commander further disclosed that “the Exercise is designed to promote conducive environment for businesses and other socio-economic activities for which Abia State is known for.”

He also stated that the Exercise would be conducted with complementary activities that are geared towards promoting civil-military cooperation (CIMIC), such as free medical outreach to be conducted in Amaekpu, the host community of the Exercise Step Up Headquarters. He further said that the CIMIC aspect is aimed at fostering the much needed cooperation between the Nigerian Army and the good people of Abia State. Other CIMIC programmes to be conducted include educational support to schools in the State, which further underscores the importance the Nigerian Army places on engendering cordiality with the host communities.

He reassured the populace in Abia of their safety and security during the conduct of the Exercise, reiterating that “the Exercise is not targeted at hunting innocent citizens, but to protect them…and that the Nigerian Army is only out to ensure a secured environment for the yuletide celebrations and peaceful electioneering activities, in preparation for 2023 General Elections.

General Adetuyi expressed appreciation to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, for his directive and release of necessary resources for the conduct of the Exercise. Also, to the General Officer Commanding 82 Division Nigerian Army, Maj Gen UT Musa, for his guidance always. To His Excellency, the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Victor Ikpeazu for his support to 14 Brigade Nigerian Army in the performance of its constitutional roles in the State.

During the medical outreach at the host community, the Deputy Governor further addressed the people, reiterating the need to cooperate with the troops in the discharge of their duties. He spoke both in English and the local dialect. In his response, His Royal Highness, Ezeiogo Uduma Obuba Kalu of Amaekpu expressed appreciation for the sacrificial services being undertaken in the communities by the Nigerian Army and urged Abians to cooperate with them in making their land a home of hospitality and prosperity which they are known for. The Amaekpu community people who turned out enmass for the medical outreach expressed great delight in what the military is doing in their community, and especially with their show of kindness through the medical programmes. People with different ailments ranging from eye problems, diabetes, prostrate and high blood pressure among others, were tested and appropriate drugs administered to them. The people promised to continue to cooperate with the Army in their community by exposing the criminal elements that are involved in killings, kidnapping and other types of crimes.

Dignitaries during the flag off ceremony include the Director State Services, representatives of the Commissioner of Police and other security agencies, Ohafia traditional rulers and monarchs among others.

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