Insecurity: Uzodimma Canvasses Deeper Military, Civilian Cooperation
Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has canvassed the need for deeper military–civilian cooperation, especially in the South East of Nigeria, as a panacea to allaying the fear and suspicion of those still living with the burden and unpleasant scars of the civil war where the military are seen as those invited to kill the citizens.
Governor Uzodimma made the remarks on Monday at the New Executive Chamber Government House Owerri during the courtesy call on him by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya and his team who were in the State for the 46th Nigerian Army Day Celebration
The Governor described the theme of the celebration – Repositioning the Nigerian Army in a Joint Operations Environment: A Panacea for Success in Addressing Contemporary Security Challenges – as quite apt, topical and reflective of the mood of the Nation today.
To achieve the above theme, the Governor emphasized the need to develop a framework within which all the security agencies in Nigeria will work jointly and in synergy to confront the current security challenges in the country.
He said he hoped that the fallout from the celebration will be a renewed desire to reposition the Nigerian Army along the line of the theme.
Governor Uzodimma said he will join other well-meaning compatriots to appeal to all the security agencies to put aside whatever inter-agency rivalries that may exist between them and continue to share vital intelligence for the overall security of Nigeria.
The Governor reiterated the sacrifices the officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army have continued to make for the freedom of the citizens and the protection of territorial integrity of the nation, noting that in the course of their duty, some have paid the supreme price for the love of the country.
His word: “In truth, no sacrifice can be higher than this.”
He recalled that many personnel of the Army have either been maimed or traumatised for life in the course of discharging their duties and assured that their sacrifices will not be in vain as succinctly captured in the National Anthem “The Labours of Our Heroes Past Shall Never be in Vain.”
He reminded the Army top brass that his administration takes the Armed Forces Remembrance Day seriously, particularly as regards commitment to the welfare of the veterans and widows of fallen troops as well as the needs of those who are still serving.
Uzodimma therefore encouraged the soldiers to serve with pride and renewed vigour as his government and others will always stand by them.
He commended the Military for the Civil- Military Cooperation Impact Project which is ready for commissioning in this year’s Army Day Celebration in Imo State, adding that such laudable gestures are in line with modern practices because “they go a long way in building a healthy relationship between the military and the civilian population.”
While acknowledging that the Nigerian Army has greatly improved on its relationship with the civilian populace, the Governor noted that there is still room for improvement in the Southeast in general and Imo State in particular.
According to a press release by Oguwike Nwachuku, the
Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to Imo State Governor, Uzodimma told the Army Chiefs that while striving to improve on their professionalism they should seek, not just to overpower the insurgents, terrorists or rebels, but to also seek to win the hearts and minds of people they seek to protect.
“This will go a long way towards building trust and erasing the mutual suspicion that exists between the civilian and military.”
The Governor used the opportunity to express his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and commitment towards the safety of Nigerians.
He commended the Chief of Army Staff and the entire Military High Command for availing Imo State with troops which helped to contain the security challenges the state faced in the past.
He pledged his administration’s continued appreciation of the sacrifices the military make for our safety, peace and freedom, noting that “those who lost their lives in their attempt to protect and keep Imo State safe will always be remembered.”
Earlier in his remarks, Lt. Gen. Yahaya said that the choice of Imo State for the 2022 Army Day Celebration is deliberate because of the continued support of the Government and people of Imo State to the military and the Armed Forces activities.
He specifically thanked the Governor for his support to the Military and other security agencies and all his efforts that resulted in the maintenance of peace and security in the country and Imo State in particular.
Lt. Gen. Yahaya also commended the Governor for helping to enhance and activate the security architecture in the State. In expressung his appreciation over the gesture, he said they look forward for continued relationship.
The Army Chief acknowledged the development strides in Imo State under Governor Uzodimma and said they will go a long way in building a viral and peaceful place for Imo people in particular and Nigeria in general.
The Chief of Staff was accompanied on the visit by top ranking officers in the Army including the Chief of Policy and Strategy, the Director Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Commander 34 Artillery Brigade Obinze, Major Gen. Suleiman among others.
They were received by top government officials like the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, the Chief of Staff, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, the Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice, Barr. COC Akaolisa, among others.